Asemie or the Inability of Expressing Oneself Through Facial Expressions

1973, 7:10 min, b&w, sound

This work documents a ritualistic performance concerned with "Ansemia," or the inability to either express or understand gesture. Using symbolic materials — hot wax, a knife, a dead bird — as well as text, Export investigates human expression, and how communication can fail.

"I had used my mouth to take the knife from the podium - holding it in my mouth, (the knife is language, the naming of things, its separates the subject from the object) using it to cut." — VALIE EXPORT

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