Touch Cinema

Christine Haroutounian


Tapp-und Tastfilm creates a patchwork of social critique by focusing on the female body as a sex object.

Rather than exploring this issue as a mere concept, Austrian artist, VALIE EXPORT, chooses to shockingly demonstrate the way in which society adheres to the mistreatment of women by directly interacting with the community. The subject deliberately gives her body for public consumption in an attempt to remove all passivity from the viewer, and transforms the subjection of women from a merely textbook-driven sociological thought into a real life, tangible problem as the human body is exploited by men on film in an ordinary, civic domain. Hence the title of the work, which translates to “Tap and Touch Cinema.”

Because the body box that the subject wears covers the hands of the men fondling her breasts in darkness, the puritanical sphere of what the state permits is forced open into a public space – an intimate, tactile interaction is occurring and being witnessed by dozens of people, yet no one in the crowd sees it as a social prescription (awareness of one’s personal space) being disobeyed.

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