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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Selbstverstümmelung: Self-Mutilation (1965) by Günter Brus and Kurt Kren

1965 action of Vienna Actionist artist Günter Brus
shot and edited by Kurt Kren.

Günter Brus (born September 27, 1938, Ardning, Styria) is an Austrian painter, performance artist, graphic artist and writer.

He was the co-founder in 1964 of Wiener Aktionismus (Viennese Actionism) together with Otto Muehl, Hermann Nitsch and Rudolf Schwarzkogler. His aggressively presented actionism intentionally disregarded conventions and taboos. Sentenced to 6 months in prison after the "Kunst und Revolution" event at the University of Vienna in 1968, he fled to Berlin with his family and returned to Austria in 1976. Brus urinated into a glass then proceeded to cover his body in his own excrement, and ended the piece by drinking his own urine. During the performance Brus also sang the Austrian national Anthem while masturbating. Bruce ended the piece by vomiting and his arrest. Through this piece and other performance works Brus hoped to reveal the still fascist essence of the nation. Brus also was editor of the "Schastrommel" (author's edition) from 1969 on. In his "Bild-Dichtungen" he achieves a synthesis between poetry and painting.

Brus was awarded the Grand Austrian State Prize in 1997. Most of his works contain aspects that are seen as controversial and out of ones comfort zone but this just seems to add to the somewhat endearing factor of his Art.

For more on structuralist film:

music later added: Arvo Part - Da Pacem,
To watch as originally intended, mute it.

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