Wiener Aktionismus (Viennese Actionism), independent Austrian form of the international happening and fluxus movement between 1960 and 1970. It maintained close contact with the literary avant-garde (Wiener Gruppe). From 1958 the artists started developing intentionally provocative ways of performing in order to bring about social changes. G. Brus, H. Nitsch, O. Muehl and A. Frohner performed actionist happenings - mixtures of graphic art, theatre, political demonstration and religious rites - in a studio from 1962 and from 1965 in public areas, calling themselves "Wiener Aktionsgruppe". The artists´ bodies became the fields of artistic expression (ranging from body painting to self-inflicted injuries), and extremely realistic forms of aesthetics including colour (blood) or materials (made of misappropriated articles in daily use and animal carcases) were the focus of interest through which traditional forms of art were dissolved. These artists exerted strong influence on the development of the Austrian branch of concept art. (e.g. V. Export, P. Weibel). The actionist happenings were photographed or filmed in most cases. Thus photographic documentation was of major importance, especially for the work of R. Schwarzkogler. Some participants of the actionist happening "Kunst und Revolution" (Art and Revolution) at the University of Vienna were arrested and convicted of disparagement of national emblems in 1968, which finally led to the end of the movement in Austria.
Literature: D. Schwarz, Aktionsmalerei - Aktionismus, 1988; Von der Aktionsmalerei zum Aktionismus. Wien 1960-65, ed. by Museum Fridericianum Kassel, 1988; H. Klocker (ed.), Wiener Aktionismus, 1989; Aktionismus. Aktionsmalerei 1960-71, exhibition catalogue, Wien 1989; F. Schmatz, Sinn & Sinne. Wiener Gruppe, Wiener Aktionismus und andere Wegbereiter, 1992.