Untitled, from the performance "Hochzeit" (Marriage)

Artist: Rudolf Schwarzkogler (Austrian, 1940–1969)

Artist: Ludwig Hoffenreich (Austrian (?))

Date: 1965

Medium: Gelatin silver print

Dimensions: 21.8 x 17.0 cm (8 9/16 x 6 11/16 in.)

Classification: Photographs

Credit Line: Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1995

Accession Number: 1995.476


Along with Günter Brus and Hermann Nitsch, Schwarzkogler was among the leading artists associated with Vienna Actionism, a movement centered around anarchic, often violent and sexually charged performances that flouted the repressive sociopolitical conventions of postwar Austrian culture. Hochzeit, the first of Schwarzkogler's actions, was performed on February 6, 1965, for a handful of friends and the camera (all of his subsequent actions were performed exclusively for the camera). Standing before a table covered with a white tablecloth and accompanied by Gregorian chants, Schwarzkogler played the role of shaman/priest/alchemist, performing his private ritual with dead fish, a dead chicken, various animal organs, eggs, colored liquids, a knife, and scissors.