Artists do publicity work for the Tanzquartier Wien

March / April 2009: VALIE EXPORT
Scherentänzerinnen [Scissor Dancers]
Two scissors, crossed in a graceful sculpture epitomise the elegance and form but also the necessary sharpness of contemporary dance. A sculpture of "dancing scissors" serves the performer VALIE EXPORT, who together with Silvia Eiblmayr is the current commissioner of the Austria pavilion at the Venice Biennale, as the starting point for their draft of the TQW campaign in March/April 2009 and as a medium to promote up-and-coming dancers.

"Every movement is like a cut in space." With Scherentänzerinnen VALIE EXPORT is translating a core principle of her long artistic practice into a sculpture. Since the 1960s – not least through the use of her own body – EXPORT has been making art noticeable as a "cut" in our habitual experience of reality. She reveals reality to be a construction that is formed through the norms of society and practiced patterns of perception. Through this, in her works she constantly marks those moments that facilitate resistance, self-determination and the overcoming of learned patterns.

"Every cut demands a manual movement, an individual rhythm, no standardised movement! Each hand cuts in different rhythms." This principle can be experienced even in using normal paper scissors.

For VALIE EXPORT's sculpture edition for the Tanzquartier Wien two metal scissors cut into each other at a right angle. A clearly visible weld merges the two into a hapitically tempting and simultaneously dangerously pointed object. Robbed of their original way of functioning, the scissors as an artwork demand attack and playful experimentation.

Fully in the tradition of Export’s conceptual photography, the TQW March/April poster (and all the other printed matter and adverts) shows a pair of scissors as a "virtual" instrument piercing an analogue film strip. The basis of the motif is a manual cutting movement by the artist, who to make the poster worked with scissors on an original experimental film role (from the 1960s) from her work archive to make the poster. The cut on the computer-generated image goes at an angle to the film frame and extends the principle of the wedged scissor dancer to the media level of the TQW fonts.

As a long-serving and committed president of the association of friends of the Tanzquartier Wien ("What Friends Are For"), VALIE EXPORT  – who already in the choice of her artist’s name critically scrutinised the commodity character of art – is donating the takings from the sale of the scissor edition for the recently founded association Bart, and is now dedicating herself completely to the up-and-coming generation of Austrian dancers and performers. The independent association BART is based on an open working group and is intended to provide support to guarantee long-term planning certainty for up-and-coming artists.

Five different scissor sculptures are being produced in a limited edition (10 pieces) and can be bought both in the framework of a charity event in the TQW on 31 March or at any time in the TQW. In March / April the special price for one Scherentänzerin is about 950 € (a serial of five different ones costs 4000 €). From 01 May the price will rise in value to 1200 € per sculpture (the serial 5200 €). All the takings will go to the new-generation project BART. (Info: ).*

The loyal TQW audience also has the opportunity to win one of these valuable scissor sculptures by VALIE EXPORT. Anyone who has attended a Tanzquartier Wien event in March and April 2009 and who puts their admission ticket together with name and contact data into the prize draw box can take part in the draw.

Concept & idea: VALIE EXPORT Courtesy: Galerie Charim, Vienna/Berlin Execution of scissor objects: Dominik Guggenberger Graphic design of poster: Gottfried Moritz Poster photo: Lukas Beck photo-editing: EDGE Project scissor-animation webpage: eSeL Curators: Marlene Ropac & eSeL

Valie Export’s artistic work includes video environments, digital photography, installations, body performances, feature films, experimental films, documentaries, Expanded Cinema, conceptual photography, body-material interactions, persona performances, laser installations, objects, sculptures and texts on contemporary art history and feminism.

Since 1968 she has taken part in international art exhibitions, including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Institute of Contemporary Art, London; the Biennale di Venezia; Documenta, Kassel; MoCA, Los Angeles; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Mumok, Vienna; the Generali Foundation, Vienna; the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York; the Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai; the Palais de Beaux-Arts, Brussels; the Tate Modern, London; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea; the Metropolitan Museum, New York; Ars Electronica, Linz, and international film and video festivals and including the London International Film Festival; Filmex, Los Angeles; and the Berlin, Cannes, Montreal, Vancouver, San Francisco, Locarno, Hong Kong, Sidney and New York film festivals.

In 2009, together with Silvia Eiblmayr,  Valie Export is the commissioner for the Austrian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.

*Members, past members and family members of staff are excluded of this charity. Recourse to legal process is excluded.