Waltraud Höllinger was born in Linz, Austria, in 1940. From 1956 to 1959 she studied at the local applied arts school, the Kunstgewerbeschule Linz. She then transferred to the Höhere Bundeslehr- und Versuchsanstalt für Textilindustrie, a school for textile design and research in Vienna. In the late 1960s, under the influence of the Vienna Actionists, she began to engage in provocative body performances. Her professional name, VALIE EXPORT, goes back to an art action in 1970, in which she pasted her nickname, VALIE, onto a pack of Smart Export cigarettes. She increasingly devoted herself to photography and film. In 1977 EXPORT participated in documenta 6 in Kassel, and in 1980 and 2007 she was represented at the 39th and 52nd Venice Biennales. After guest professorships in Munich, Salzburg, Vienna and San Francisco, she was appointed a professor at universities in Milwaukee, Berlin and Cologne in 1989. Her oeuvre encompasses performances, films, conceptual works, photos, texts, objects and installations. She is considered a pioneer in the realm of Media and Performance Art. VALIE EXPORT lives and works in Vienna.