Human behaviour – in contrast to that of machines (animals) – is influenced by past events, no matter how long ago they occurred. This has led to the existence of a spiritual para-time that runs parallel to objective time and is constantly subject to the influence of the prayers of fear and guilt, of the incapability to overcome, of deformations that tear open the skin, of visual manifestations. I point to something representing past and present.
With sometimes painful directness, Valie Export conducts a psychological investigation of the body in this film performance, externalizes an internal state. In front of a police photo showing two children who were sexually abused by their parents, she tortuously cuts into her cuticles until blood drips into a bowl of milk on her lap. On top of the symbolic plane of blood and milk, the physical effect on the viewer of her destructive act of self-mutilation is extreme.
This title is available for exhibitions, screenings, and institutional use through Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), NY. Please visit the EAI Online Catalogue for further information about this artist and work. The EAI site offers extensive resources for curators, students, artists and educators, including: an in-depth guide to exhibiting, collecting, and preserving media art; A Kinetic History: The EAI Archives Online, a collection of essays, primary documents, and media charting EAI's 40-year history and the early years of the emergent video art scene; and expanded contextual and educational materials.