Disfiguration, Deformation: The body in the work of VALIE EXPORT

06/12/2018, 11.00

The Department of Art History and Art Theory invites you to a lecture by Rose-Anne Gush.

This lecture draws on the work of VALIE EXPORT and Unica Zürn to explore an ‘underground history’, and as such a (return of the repressed) temporally placed para-present of the body, where instincts and passions are understood as deformed and disfigured. Providing an account of the Riß as disfiguration in the works of EXPORT in relation to her reading of Zürn, I argue that the figure of the Riß, the tear, rent, crack, split, rip and laceration should be understood as both, a technique in art, and the result of societal disfiguration or distortion. By reading EXPORT and Zürn back onto this ‘underground history’ I will ask how this distortion is gendered? How is the body (dis)figured through image and language anagrammatically to its eventual obliteration? What are the conditions of possibility for these practices? What kind of society do they negate? And finally, considering these practices which tend towards their own break [Riß], what is left of the body in art?

Rose-Anne Gush is an art historian, theorist and editor based in Vienna. She is currently completing her PhD at the University of Leeds, UK titled: Figuring Austria’s Repressed Violence: Artistic Labour of the Body in the work of Elfriede Jelinek and VALIE EXPORT. Her texts have appeared in publications such as Mute Magazine, Radical Philosophy, Art Monthly, Flash Art, AWARE and Philosophy of Photography as well as the edited volume, Objects of Feminism. Forthcoming peer-reviewed articles will be published with Performance Research (in press), Third Text (May 2019) and Kunst und Politik Jahrbuch der Guernica Gesellschaft (2019). She is co-editing a book (provisionally) titled Art, the Reproduction of Capital and the Reproduction of Life.

Lecture of the Department of Art History and Theory at the seminar of Anne von der Heiden "'The main thing is always invisible'. VALIE EXPORT Workshop".