Action Art International. Documents on International Actionism
The film Action Art International is a comprehensive documentary film about modern art movements from 1945 to the present. The documentary begins by showing film footage and photographic material relating to the International Situationists, cobra, Spur and the Vienna Group in Europe, then proceeds to the international Happening and Fluxus movement, including Vienna´s Actionists, and after 1970 international body and performance art, which also included media art - i.e. film and video. The goal of these movements, all of which were characterized by artistic innovation and political provocation, was breaking away from traditional art forms, employing reality as a means of expression, and overstepping boundaries in individual categories of art such as language, painting and theater. This is illustrated in visual form and through language. Art was called into question by these movements in a radical way for the purpose of introducing artistic thought and a desire to create art in new forms of communication. All the movements dealt with are based on the desire to fuse dream and life, art and reality. The documentary shows important photographic and film material relating to these artistic movements in the 1960s and 1970s, excerpts from media and body performances in the 1980s, and concerns common to them into the 1990s.
The ORF’s (Austrian TV-station) original intention was to have VALIE EXPORT create a program about Viennese Actionism, but she was able to convince the editorial department of the value of an examination of the international roots and trends. However she begins with an introduction of the literary actions of the Vienna Group, which inspired EXPORT, herself as a young artist in the early 1960s. In the same way as in Das Bewaffnete Auge the informative aspect is the focus, though not to the exclusion of the contemporary use of the medium and its possibilities.
Aktionskunst International. Dokumente zum Internationalen Aktionismus.