Hermann Nitsch, 2012
August 29, 1938 |
|Education||Wiener Graphische Lehr-und Versuchanstalt|
|Known for||Performance art|
|Notable work(s)||Orgien Mysterien Theater|
Hermann Nitsch (born 29 August 1938) is an Austrian artist and avant-garde filmmaker who works in experimental and multimedia modes.
Born in Vienna, Nitsch received training in painting when studied at the Wiener Graphische Lehr-und Versuchanstalt, during which time he was drawn to religious art. He is associated with the Vienna Actionists—a loosely affiliated group of off-kilter and confrontational Austrian artists that also includes Günter Brus, Otto Muehl, and Rudolf Schwarzkogler.
Nitsch's abstract splatter paintings, like his performance pieces, address the excessive beauty and intensification of human existence. In the 1950s, Nitsch conceived of the Orgien Mysterien Theater (which roughly translates as Theatre of Orgies and Mysteries or The Orgiastic Mystery Theater), staging nearly 100 performances between 1962 and 1998.
Orgien Mysterien Theater
Nitsch's Orgien Mysterien Theater performances, (or as he calls it, Aktion) can be considered both ritualistic and existential. The scene is often involved with slaughters, religious sacrifices, crucifixion, as well as blood and flesh. The performances are also accompanied with music, dancing, and active participants.
The First Orgien Mysterien Theater
In the first Orgien Mysterien Theater performance, Hermann Nitsch and his friends used animal carcasses, entrails, and blood in a ritualistic way. The cloths, bandages and other fabrics used in these performances introduced Nitsch to the idea of making paintings.
Orgien Mysterien Theater with Personal Structures
In his later life, Hermann Nitsch has been closely collaborating with Personal Structures, an international contemporary art platform.
In May 2010, Personal Structures' curators Karlyn De Jongh and Sarah Gold were "crucified" in Hermann Nitsch's 130th Orgien Mysterien Theater performance in Naples, Italy. In the week before the actual event, they took part in the rehearsals and met Nitsch every day to talk with him about experiencing life and his Orgien Mysterien Theater. On the day of the performance, Karlyn and Sarah were blindfolded, naked, bound to their crosses, to feel, hear, taste and smell all that was happening to them in the Museo Hermann Nitsch.
Later in 2011, the documentation of this 130th performance was exhibited in the 54th Venice Biennale's official collateral event, Personal Structure: Time Space Existence in Palazzo Bembo, together with the works from Marina Abramović's video installation, where she was locked in a staring battle with a donkey, and Xing Xin's live performance, 2011, I Exhibit Myself In A Western Exhibition.
In 2006, Berlin-based fine art publisher Edition Kröthenhayn released a DVD containing a four-hour overview of his filmography, including all the actions conducted between 1962 and 2003, as well as an interview from 2005, an 80-page book with a text by Florian Schreiner and numerous photos explaining the theoretical basis of Nitsch’s work, and a CD containing recordings of the 122nd action from the Burgtheater in Vienna, in a limited edition of a thousand hand-numbered copies under the title Das Aktionstheater des Hermann Nitsch zwischen Herkunft und Zukunft.
Having grown up during the World War II, Nitsch reveals his fascination with the intensity of religious feelings for life in his art work with excessive means such as taboo images, nudity, bloody scenes and more. For this, he received several court trials and three prison terms. Also, it is often discussed today that his work may exemplify cultures' fascination with violence.
- Hermann Nitsch, Discogs.
- Hermann Nitsch, Art Directory.
- HERMANN NITSCH, By Jonas Vogt, Alexander Nussbaumer.
- PERSONAL STRUCTURES Hermann Nitsch: Under My Skin.
- PALAZZI, PARTIES AND POLITICS AT THE VENICE ART BIENNALE, Art Insider.
- Interview with Xing Xin, ARTslant.
- Hermann Nitsch: under my skin, Google Books
- "Das Aktionstheater des Hermann Nitsch zwischen Herkunft und Zukunft". Edition Kröthenhayn. 20 November 2006. Retrieved 18 August 2014.
- Article in Italian newspaper La Repubblica
- Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath: The Sacrificial Rites of Hermann Nitsch.
- Animals, art and death: a note on Hermann Nitsch's 3-Day-Play.
- Stark, Ekkehard. Hermann Nitschs 'Orgien Mysterien Theater' und die "Hysterie der Griechen." Quellen und Traditionen in Wiener Atikedild seit 1900
- Winkler, Michael. Review: Hermann Nitschs 'Orgien Mysterien Theater' und die "Hysterie der Griechen." Quellen und Traditionen in Wiener Atikedild seit 1900 by Ekkehard Stark. The German Quarterly, Vol. 61, No. 4, 60th Anniversary 1928-1988 (Autumn, 1988) pp. 590–591.
- Romberg, Osvaldo. Redemption through Blood:pp. 8–13, 60-71
- UbuWeb Films Hermann Nitsch (b. 1938)
- Hermann Nitsch's Homepage (German)
- „Hermann Nitsch“ on SAST REPORT Culture
- Video of Hermann Nitsch in America
- The Saatchi Gallery - Hermann Nitsch, Gallery In London with images, information, text and biography about Hermann Nitsch
- Exhibition in the Demeter Gallery (Hungary)
- Hermann Nitsch - The Movie, HN The Movie - a documentary film about Hermann Nitsch
- Nitschland Napoli Film by Roberto Paci Dalò
- Museo Hermann Nitsch
- Artziwna gallery
- 64. Malaktion Mart Rovereto Italy 02-06/10/2012
- 'Breaking Out of the Reality-Asylum: Hermann NItsch and the Orgies Mysteries Theatre', 1998. Essay by Paul Sakoilsky on Nitsch/Actionism and 'the 6-day play'. (2002 re-edit) published, Galerie Zimmerman Krotochwill Catalogue 08/2010