Akt-schöen is a performance project exploring the curious and unlikely links between two disperate cultural movements of 20th century: Viennese Actionism and Disco. While connections between the two are rarely considered, what has happened to these countercultural movements? And how do they continue to influence the work of performance artists today?
Taking Alicia Bridges' 70s disco classic 'I love the Nightlife' as a jumping off point, this evolving project asks whether these disperate movements have more in common than what first meets the eye: one emerging as a violent, masculine and very heterosexual reaction to the comodification of art and the move towards a totalising art practice that breaks traditions of painting and sculpture, the other emerging as a reaction to the domination of rock music and the stigmatisation of dance music by counterculture with its roots in African-American, gay and psychadelic communities of that period.
Drawing on countercultural postures of these movements, Akt-schöen includes a series of 'actions' or performances for both art spaces and club/cabaret contexts which disrupt formal protocol and open up further questions around value, criticality and the perverse and even humurous potentials of promiscuous couplings.