Syntagma, 1983

Basel 2019
Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac
16mm film, color; 18’
In the 18-minute film Syntagma, VALIE EXPORT links the results of her decades of research in the field of expanded cinema, video, and photography to her performances. Her exploration of progressive film techniques is evident both in her multi-media films and examination of the female body. Syntagma centers on a woman and her body, in which she encounters herself as a doppelgänger. Her living image appears in mirrors, in the urban environment, as a frozen reproduction of her body in photos and through temporal and spatial duplication. Using a split-screen technique, the motifs are divided in two. These double views express both unity and difference, thus visually confirming VALIE EXPORT’s ‘Multiple Body Theory,’ according to which a single body may belong to diverse systems of representation. In Syntagma, the female body is shown in a split-self experience, in search of its own identity.