Aktion With A Male Body: Notes From Schwarzkogler to Shazada

Performed at Artist's Space, Aktion with a Male Body: Notes from Schwarzkogler to Shahzada marked my first public performance and continues my explorations of the transformed and grotesque body within historical moments of crisis. The multi-media piece moves between post-war Austria of the 1960's and our contemporary moment of war, offering a new way of looking at Rudolph Schwarzkogler's work, while reflecting on the impact of technologies on our present individual and collective bodies. Considering that war can now be created and watched from a vast distance, Notes from Schwarzkogler to Shahzada addresses a collapse of this distance and attempts a recovery of the bodies we have seperated ourselves from. 

 

An audio component features the voice of Shahzada, a former Guantanamo detainee and tribal elder from Afghanistan known through the camp for his sad and beautiful singing voice.The songs are based on lines of poetry smuggled to him by fellow inmates.

 

Schwarzkogler, a member of the Vienna Actionists, began his career as a painter and went on to create largely private performances using himself, a model and a photographer. The results were simple, disturbing and austere photographic images of the body injured, healing and in the process of being handled and manipulated. Aktion with a Male Body: Notes from Schwarzkogler to Shahzada makes reference to the frame as a device that links painting to performance, image to the real and the past to present.