Valie Export / Hermann Hendrich, Stadt: Visuelle Strukturen (City: visual structures), 1973

Cover back and front

Cover back and front


This slim pocket-size book is a real Austrian photobook rarity. A conceptional book by Austrian artists Valie Export (Waltraud Höllinger née Lehner) (photography) & Hermann Hendrich (text) containing several photo-sequences shot in Vienna. The artists explore the patterns and structures a cityscape naturally offers, something which still fascinates artists and photographers, seen, for example, in Michael Wolf’s images of Hong Kong.
The photographs were taken between 1970 and 1972, in the form of several diverse, but ultimately linked, concepts. In one Valie Export follows the course of a diagonal line drawn on a map of Vienna, with her camera, recording houses and street scenes along this fictional path. Another section “Gemeindebau” echoes this concept. Photographs of Gemeindebau (council estates) follow similar, self-imposed lines, beginning from the outside to reveal whatever is on the other side of the wall, the next wall and so on to the opposite outer wall. The other photographic chapters in the book are composite photo-essays, reflecting the spirit of artists like Ed Ruscha or even Warhol.

The title Stadt: Visuelle Strukturen (City: visual structures) obviously refers to the city of Vienna. The book opens with a explanatory text by Valie Export, followed by these chapters:
Zeitgedicht 24 Stunden 24 mal fotografiert, 1970 (Four pages of 24 street views within 24 hours, all similar in crop and angle arranged in groups of six on a page).
Linie, 1972 – Leitlinien für die Stadtentwicklung  (A map of Vienna with a straight line drawn diagonally from top left to bottom right illustrating the photographer’s path through the city).
23 Kinderspielplätze, 1972 – (23 Playgrounds).
Buch: Wien, 1968 (text)
Gemeindebau, 1972 (Council estates)
23 Interviews, 1972
Währingerstrasse 204 – No 1, 1972
Neu, 1972
Raumsprung, 1972 (‘Room-leap’)
Halte‘stelle’, 1972 (Bus stop)

Valie Export (photographs, concept & design) & Hermann Hendrich (text, concept & design)

Valie Export’s website:

Hermann J. Hendrich’s website: 

Published by Jugend & Volk Wien München 1973 in the series Edition Literaturproduzenten.

Soft cover

12.5 x 20.5cm

64 pages