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[NSFW] Viennese Actionism: Grotesque, Savage Atrocities Masquerading as ‘Postmodern Art’

Hermann Nitsch performance at his Prinzendorf Castle in Austria, year unknown. Assistants use entrails and blood from cows, lambs, and pigs. PHOTO: via Art-for-a-change.com

Viennese Actionism is “a performance art that includes the slaughter of animals and the drinking of their blood, the covering of performers with blood, entrails, and excrement, the mock crucifixion of performers, the mockery of Christianity, and the shattering of every imaginable taboo,” art blogger Mark Vallen succinctly writes.

This 1960s postmodern destructive art “movement,” for lack of a better term, has several founding operatives who were noted for their horrifically degenerate performances favored by discordians and pervert justice warriors around the world.

The four men widely recognized as the fathers of Viennese Actionism include Hermann Nitsch, Otto Muehl, Gunter Brus and Rudolf Schwarzkogler. Photographs of their key pieces of work are compiled in the book “El Arte De La Accion.” The image below is one of the more tame photos. Most are too graphic to post at Winter Watch.

Libros: HERMANN NITSCH - OTTO MÜHL - GÜNTER BRUS - RUDOLF SCHWARZKOFLER - Foto 12 - 122208379

Otto Muehl performing ‘Mama & Papa’ in 1964.
PHOTO: Artnet.com/Kurt Kren

Otto Muehl

Pedophile Otto Muehl (16 June 1925 – 26 May 2013) was the leader of the Friedrichshof commune, a kind of anti-social cult formed in 1972 Vienna. The declared aim of his commune was the destruction of bourgeois marriage and private property, and promotion of free love, and collective education of its children. The commune was devoted to a breakdown of established social habits and beliefs, and was partly inspired by ideas of Wilhelm Reich.

This leftist-authoritarian sect — described as a “psycho sect” by authors Nordhausen and Billerbeck — wasn’t finally abandon until 1990. In 1991, Muehl was convicted of widespread sexual abuse of minors who lived in the commune, and he was sentenced to seven years in prison. In 2004, Muehl told the publication Die Zeit: “I’m not a child molester. This is nonsense. The girls were all developed.”

In 2010, Muehl celebrated his 85th birthday. To mark the occasion, the Leopold Museum in Vienna showed an extensive exhibition of his work.

Gunter Brus

In 1966, a new concept of Aktion was developed by Muehl with Günter Brus. Instead of the canvas, the body, including that of the artist, became the scene of action.

Image of Gunter Brus’ performance art in 1969. PHOTO: MoMA.org

One such Gunter Brus (b. 1938) performance involved the artist urinating into a glass, then he proceeded to cover his body in his own excrement, and ended the piece by drinking his own urine. During the performance, Brus also sang the Austrian national anthem while masturbating. Brus ended the piece by vomiting and was subsequently arrested. Through this piece and his other performances, Brus hoped to reveal the still-fascist essence of the nation.

Muehl first performed his “Piss Aktion” by standing naked and urinating into Brus’ mouth live on stage at the Hamburg Film Festival in 1969. Muehl claimed he was moving beyond what he referred to as the more “bourgeois” happenings into what he labeled “direct art” in which he used bodily functions (such as urination) as tools for expressions of intense, pent-up energy and taboo-breaking.

In 1966, Brus was featured along with Muehl, Gustav Metzger, Wolf Vostell, John Lennon’s wife Yoko Ono and others at the Destruction in Art Symposium in London.

Brus was awarded the Grand Austrian State Prize in 1997. The Joanneum now houses a permanent gallery, called the Bruseum, featuring the work of Brus, Muehl and his fellow Viennese Actionists.

One of the scams perpetuated by this group was to “make it about Nazis” and claim Austrians were suppressing memories of atrocities committed in their country, and were trying to force people to face these traumas head on through their art. This sham to make their art seem socially relevant no doubt put them in stead with Jewish art critics and collectors.

Image result for gunter brus
Gunter Brus ‘Self-Painting,’ Film Action, Studio Sailer, Vienna, December 1964.

For example, in another performance series, Brus urinated into a vessel and drank, began frenzied action, then slashed his own shaven skull with a knife.

“Art historians” argued that in subjecting his own body to such brutality, Brus is symbolically reclaiming the body tortured and killed by the Nazis, and was investigating the body’s tolerance for pain.

Jewish quack Sigmund Freud was a touchstone for the Viennese Actionism group. It was in Vienna where the psychoanalysis was born, and the Actionists echoed this symbolically by using their performances to exorcise their own traumatic experiences of WWII.


Read “Sigmund Fraud: The Father of Modern Psychoanalysis and Neurotic Charlatan”

Rudolf Schwarzkogler’s ‘3rd Aktion’ (1965) PHOTO: Gallery Krinzinger

Rudolf Schwarzkogler

The claim to fame of conceptual photographer Rudolf Schwarzkogler (1940 -1969) was bandaged (possibly dead) performers in highly contorted and constrained positions, displayed on a creased white sheet.

Often, the performer (model) appears to be injected with a poisonous-looking fluid, and it appears the “patient”-like figure is being mutilated rather than treated. The head is often swathed in bandages, and in at least one instance, he’s being pierced by what appears to be a corkscrew, producing a bloodstain under the bandages.

Schwarzkogler’s ‘Aktions’ were all carefully staged purely for the camera. Alas, he only created six photo series before his untimely death in 1969. In a tenser moment he hurled himself off of the third floor of his apartment building.

The castration theme in some of Schwarzkogler’s other work inspired initially sparked a false report that he had accidentally killed himself by cutting open his own penis in a performance-to-camera gone wrong. But it was soon clarified that the bloody penis photo series was staged and a model was used.

Hermann Nitsch was a premier guest at the 2009 Incubate arts festival in Tilburg, Netherlands. In this photo assistants undergoing mock crucifixions drink and bath in animal blood.
Hermann Nitsch was a premier guest at the 2009 Incubate arts festival in Tilburg, Netherlands. In this photo assistants undergoing mock crucifixions, drink and bath in animal blood. CAPTION: Art-for-a-change.com/PHOTO: Unknown

Hermann Nitsch

Viennese Actionism mucky muck Hermann Nitsch (b. 1938) produced the “Orgies Mystery Theater.” This utilized actors, blood, animal entrails, robed processions, symbolic crucifixion, music, dancing and ritualistic gestures.

Much of Nitsch’s 21st century work depicts people, often crucified, drinking animal blood. The blood often pours from the mouth down the front of a naked figure or white-robed figure.

He received several court trials, being charged with gross public indecency and sentenced to three short prison terms.

In an interview, this “cosmopolitan artist” described his background:

UKLANSKI: “So you aren’t Polish.”

NITSCH: I’m not Polish, no. But the name … yes! I am not sure if its origin is Jewish or Gypsy.

Most recently, Nitsch exhibited his works during the Venice Biennale 2017 at the European Cultural Centre. He, too, has his own museum in Austria.

WARNING: The following video is criminally offensive.

Playing it Forward

Over time, the purveyors of this inversion movement called Viennese Actionism received unending streams of grants to encourage, preserve and perpetuate their bizarre behavior. Additionally, modern art is inflated in value by an small group of speculators and promoters.  For example, Jewish financier types like Eduard Pomeranz exhibited the notorious Marina Abramovic as well as Nitsch. There is little of redeeming quality in the Pomeranz collection. Marina Abramovic essentially is an unoriginal copy cat of Nitsch.

Further examples of perpetuation and promotion of this type of degeneracy may be found in the following Winter Watch articles:

Ritual sacrifice has continued to be performed by other artists who regularly use blood to make paintings, by musicians, and in some cases even captured on film in some of Hollywood’s most notable big budget titles.

In director Francis Ford Coppola’s award-winning 1979 film “Apocalypse Now,” a water buffalo is killed in a ritual by machetes, an event which was not simulated and resulted in the death of the animal who had allegedly been marked for slaughter. And in 2004, the Norwegian black metal band Gorgoroth performed their now legendary Black Mass concert in Krakow, a show that featured sheeps’ heads impaled on spikes, nude models crucified on stage and a bath of sheeps’ blood.

 

5 Comments on [NSFW] Viennese Actionism: Grotesque, Savage Atrocities Masquerading as ‘Postmodern Art’

  1. I feel sick after seeing this. But I have seen other youngins emulate such things from various art schools back in the day when the internet was wide open.

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