Austrian Photographic Art – VALIE EXPORT – SMART EXPORT stamp

March 13th, 2013

Within the series "Austrian Photographic Art" Austrian post issued a stamp dedicated to the Austrian Artist VALIE EXPORT and one of her emblematic works VALIE EXPORT – SMART EXPORT.

VALIE EXPORT has concentrated on the body in her work, with the intention of challenging – in a society characterized by a false egalitarianism of gender – contradictions, pressures, and violence toward women. In her practice, performance is a means of investigating physical and psychological limits or is used as a device to destabilize sexist ideologies.

VALIE EXPORT – SMART EXPORT work depicts the artist holding a pack of cigarettes – those she was smoking at the time and which were called Smart Export – with her face printed on it. She created her artist's name of VALIE EXPORT, in capitals, based on this brand of cigarettes – a very manly attribute – in her own words to "export myself, to bring ideas out of their harbours" and to fight against the prevailing machismo of the Austrian society and the Actionist Viennese art scene. This work – the branding of her own self – is a symbol of extreme self-determination in an aesthetic, social, and political sense and has become an iconic logo for the artist.

Without denying the artistic value of this performance,, however, strongly opposes to smoking.

Tags: #Austria