Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden presents the solo exhibition “VALIE EXPORT. Fragments of a Touch” from October 31st until December 31st, 2020. The exhibition focuses on installations and groups of works that highlight a special moment in the artist’s œuvre: touch. The theme of touch is not only to be understood in the physical sense but also includes a media-reflective level. It functions as a definition of the border or even as the transition between realities: between image and space, matter and emptiness, body and environment. Especially in times of social distancing and the Covid-19 pandemic, the theme of the exhibition takes on a special relevance: will it still be possible this year to return to old patterns of behaviour and contact or will the theme of contact and touch remain fragmented, as indicated in the exhibition title?
The pointing to and crossing of boundaries can be found in various media in the œuvre of VALIE EXPORT – both in room-sized installations and in her films. The exhibition will thus show that the means and forms of expression used by VALIE EXPORT are often based on precise observations and analyses of social and media constructions. VALIE EXPORT is considered a pioneer of “expanded cinema”, conceptual photography, installation, performance, work with text and theory. This is also reflected in the selection of works for the solo exhibition: Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden presents not only large room installations but also a selection of her cinematic work, which is presented in a separate cinema space. The exhibition departs from the usual chronological arrangement of monographic exhibitions and also from the frequently exhibited works from the early creative years of EXPORT. Rather, it follows a deliberate curatorial decision that emphasizes the complexity and interlocking of the most diverse works and media in order to show the development of the artistic motifs, their semantic shifts, their divergent media character, and the diversity of approaches to the theme of touch.
The exhibition is curated by Luisa Heese and Hendrik Bündge, together with Carolin Potthast.