“Kren’s 10/65: Self-Mutilation is developed from a Gunter Brus ‘action.’ What the film emphasizes is the surrealistic drama of symbolic self-destruction that Kren drew out of Brus’s action, pacing out each gesture so that one gets a tense, iconoclastic revelation of a man covered in white plaster lying surrounded by razor blades and a range of instruments looking as if they have been taken from an operating theater. The blades, scissors and scalpels are gradually inserted into him in a ritualistic self-operation.” —Stephen Dwoskin
Kurt Kren (September 20, 1929 – died in Vienna on June 23, 1998) was an Austrian avantgarde filmmaker. He is best known for his involvement with the Vienna Aktionists and the group of films that resulted.
Kurt Kren was born in 1929 in Vienna, Austria to a family of a Jewish father (a bank employee) and German mother. From 1939 till the end of World War II Kren lived in Rotterdam, where he was sent with one of the Children’s Transports. In 1947 Kren returned to Vienna, and his father provided him a job at the National Bank.
He began a film career in the early 1950s creating experimental short 8mm films. In 1957 he moved to the 16mm format.
In 1966, Kren participated in the Destruction in Art Symposium in London. In 1968 he visited the USA for the first time, showing his films in New York and St. Louis. After a participation in a happening “Kunst und Revolution” (“Art and Revolution”) at the University of Vienna in 1968, Kren’s films were confiscated… read more