VALIE EXPORT (born May 17, 1940 in Linz as Waltraud Lehner) is an Austrian artist. Her artistic work includes video installations, body performances, expanded cinema, computer animations, photography, sculptures and publications covering contemporary arts.
Educated in a convent until the age of 14, EXPORT studied painting, drawing, and design at the National School for Textile Industry in Vienna, and briefly worked in the film industry as a script girl, editor, and extra. She married and had two children, but later divorced her husband and returned to art school. In 1967, she changed her name to VALIE EXPORT—written in uppercase letters, like an artistic logo—shedding her father’s and husband’s names and appropriating her new surname from a popular brand of cigarettes. With this gesture of self-determination, EXPORT emphatically asserted her identity within the Viennese art scene, which was then dominated by the taboo-breaking performance art of Viennese actionists such as Hermann… read more