Rudolf Schwarzkogler was an Austrian performance artist closely associated with the Viennese Actionism group that included artists Günter Brus, Otto Mühl, and Hermann Nitsch. He is best known today for photographs depicting his series of closely controlled “Aktionen” featuring such iconography as a dead fish, a dead chicken, bare lightbulbs, coloured liquids, bound objects, and a man wrapped in gauze. The enduring themes of Scwarzkogler’s works involved experience of pain and mutilation, often in an incongruous clinical context, such as 3rd Aktion (1965) in which a patient’s head enswathed in bandages is being pierced by what appears to be a corkscrew, producing a bloodstain under the bandages. They reflect a message of despair at the disappointments and hurtfulness of the world. Chris Burden remarked, that Newsweek Magazine in the 1970s in an article had mentioned Schwarzkogler and him, embarrassingly misreporting that Schwarzkogler had died by slicing off his penis during a performance. A scene in Schwarzkoglers foto-performances had been starry-eyed misinterpreted. There is a myth that Schwarzkogler died by slicing off his penis during a performance. (The castration themes in some of his aktions — for example, in Aktion 2 he posed with a sliced open fish covering his groin — may have helped to fuel this myth. Ironically, the protagonist of this aktion was not even Schwarzkogler himself but rather a friend and model by the name of Hans Cibulka.) In reality Schwarzkogler died when he either fell or leapt from a window, possibly with the desire to emulate Yves Klein’s ‘Leap into the Void’.