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Rudolf Schwarzkogler Electronic Library

English translations of "scores" for unperformed "aktions" as well as a viewer showing four aktions performed by 20th century Austrian performance artist Rudolf Schwarzkogler.

Rudolf Schwarzkogler (1940-1969) had a brief but brilliant career in art before either falling or jumping to his death from a window. An integral part of the group of Viennese performance artists consisting of Hermann Nitsch, Günter Brus, and Otto Muehl, Schwarzkogler shared their themes — pain, self-mutilation, guilt and exorcism — but differed in the control and aesthetic precision of his work. Whereas their deliberately provocative performances resembled pagan orgies, Schwarzkogler — influenced more by philosophy, Indian mysticism, Malevich and Suprematism (note the black square in the aktions) — performed all but one of his aktions in private, carefully staging series of tableaux to be captured by still photographs.


Aktion Viewer (Flash, 36k)

The Aktion Viewer is a Flash application presenting the complete series of photographs documenting Schwarzkogler's Aktions 2, 3, 4, and 6.

Rudolf Schwarzkogler, Unperformed Aktions

Selected scores for aktions never performed by Schwarzkogler. The texts are presented in German and in a new English translation by Supervert.

Recommended Reading at Amazon

Malcolm Green, ed., Writings of the Vienna Actionists

This is the only book currently in print featuring work by Schwarzkogler. Fortunately, it's comprehensive and includes almost all of Schwarzkogler's theoretical writings, scores for aktions, etc — a genuine must-have. (Eva Badura-Triska's Rudolf Schwarzkogler: Leben und Werk, the definitive and profusely illustrated book on the artist, can usually be found used at

Eva Badura-Triska, Rudolf Schwarzkogler: Leben und Werk

Eva Badura-Triska's Rudolf Schwarzkogler: Leben und Werk is the definitive and profusely illustrated book on the artist.

Eva Badura-Triska and Kerstin Barnick-Braun, Vienna Actionism: Art and Upheaval in 1960s Vienna

This is now the definitive reference work on Vienna Actionism. It contains 1,400 color images, biographies and an illustrated chronology and index of all the "actions," literature and films created by Günter Brus, Otto Mühl, Hermann Nitsch and Rudolf Schwarzkogler.

Hubert Klocker, Rite of Passage: The Early Years of Vienna Actionism, 1960-1966

Published to accompany a New York exhibition, this book looks at the way in which Viennese Actionism evolved out of earlier movements such as Abstract Expressionism and Art Informel.

Stephen Barber, The Art Of Destruction: The Films Of The Vienna Action Group (Persistence of Vision)

The Vienna Action Group formed the most provocative, insurgent, and challenging of all the worldwide art movements of the 1960s. Their sexually charged and antisocial actions exacted a profound and irreparable upheaval in the way in which art was conceived. Using their own bodies as raw material, the Action Group undertook experiments in cruelty that disassembled the human body and its acts into compacted gestures of blood, semen, and meat. The films of the Vienna Action Group form the essential residue, debris, and evidence of their performances. For the first time, this book focuses on those films as fully revealing the obsessions, ambitions, and outrages of the Action Group. Fully illustrated and annotated, this is a book of compelling interest to all students of film, art, and performance, and for all readers engaged with questioning social and corporate cultures.

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