Rudolf Schwarzkogler  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Rudolf Schwarzkogler (13 November 1940 in Vienna20 June 1969) was an Austrian performance artist closely associated with the Viennese Actionism group that also included artists Günter Brus, Otto Mühl, and Hermann Nitsch.

He is best known today for photographs depicting his series of closely controlled "aktions" featuring such iconography as a dead fish, a dead chicken, bare lightbulbs, colored liquids, bound objects, and a man wrapped in gauze like a mummy.

There is a myth that Schwarzkogler died by slicing off his penis during a performance. (The castration themes in some of his aktions — for example, in Aktion 2 he posed with a sliced open fish covering his groin — may have helped to fuel this myth. Ironically, the protagonist of this aktion was not even Schwarzkogler himself but rather a friend and model by the name of Hans Cibulka, now a renowned photographer himself.) In reality Schwarzkogler died when he either fell or leapt from a window, possibly with the desire to emulate Yves Klein's 'Leap into the Void'.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Rudolf Schwarzkogler" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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