Contemporaneous Extension

Hermann Nitsch: the real deal

The final critique of Hermann Nitsch’s Live Action Painting was put up this morning on Hyperallergic. Below is an excerpt from the piece, but click here for the full piece:

“Speaking of sacrilege, who’s spiritual transcendence are we striving for? 60. Painting Action // 60. Malaktion wasn’t as explicit as the Orgies Mysteries Theatre‘s drive toward communal ascension. Nitsch fell into moments of noticeable trance at each stage of the process. Ritual, however, relies upon the presence of all involved. The procession upon the canvases became a glaring paradox. Although it calmed the room, reducing the soundtrack to the pitter-patter of moist toes on stale paint, each walk distinguished the discrepancies between the focus of the more experienced apprentices and the gallery-recruited help. Nitsch’s face read amusement and disgust as the staff photographer acquired a robe for protection on the first day, confirming my suspicion that he yearned for a collective mentality. Nitsch necessitates a united mind-frame  considering his assistants assume significant hands-on responsibility in the composition of each piece. Unfortunately, several instructional slip-ups occurred. In his separation from certain components of the process, I wonder if Nitsch finds himself tapping into the ethereal as fluidly as he used to, or even at all.”

There are some supplementary pictures I took at the action at Hyperallergic Labs.

Hermann Nitsch 2011

Hermann Nitsch 2011, photograph courtesy of Benjamin Norman


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