“Negation in a Six-Pack”
and Violence under the Guise of Art

Deutsche Übersetzung als PDF hier: “Negation im Six-Pack” und Gewalt-Kunst

On July 30, 1998 a TV interview with Hermann Nitsch was broadcast. On August 4th the following letter to the editor was published in the Kronen Zeitung, Austria’s largest-selling tabloid. The author is Lore Jarosch, biographer of Hans Dichand, the paper’s publisher:


“Dear Herr Chancellor, if your daughter were to be placed on a stage with shaven head and have her sex organ penetrated under the direction of Herr Nitsch, I would like to know whether you would still speak about ’the freedom of art.’”[1]

Furthermore, it was stated in the interview that the girl was to be penetrated by a wooden dildo at a private Action. This was to occur with the consent of her parents and that she had previously taken part in such events.

Reaction by Doron Rabinovici: “Pass any newsstand and you’ll see where misanthropy is at home. Open the “Kronen Zeitung” and you can see what really happens as far as women are concerned. Ask Lore Jarosch how she feels when her letter to the editor appears along with her daughters in the nude and ads for prostitutes on a daily basis!”[2]

The Kronen Zeitung simply serves as a source here. What is essential is the announcement of the barbaric abuse of a child for public entertainment. The Kronen Zeitung simply serves as a source here. The carrier of the abuse information is not my subject matter here. I should add that I have published numerous polemics critical of the editorial policies of this tabloid.
click  Harry’s Blog

I would like to note that although Frau Jarosch’s letter was published, the paper did not pursue the matter.

 Günter Brus: “Hermann Nitsch stated in an interview on a German channel that we were all guilty of having committed transgressions, but they caught Mühl at it, and now he has to atone for all of us.[3]

There are many indications that pedophilia and child abuse are continuing to be systematically practiced in artistic conclaves, but so far no Austrian journalist has been willing to research the matter.

Günter Brus: “I’m not opposed to pornography as long as children or violence is not involved[4]…you certainly cannot find any trace of child pornography in my work.”[5]

Brus was awarded the Grand Austrian State Prize for Art in 1997; his graphic specialties include a women pierced by wires[6] and a smiling child being penetrated by a horse. The latter is included in a Dorotheum Auction House catalogue.[7]

In 1993 the prize-winner-to-be stated in an interview in the Kurier with Karin Kathrein: “I never ate excrement!”[8]

In Wien: Bildkompendium Wiener Aktionismus und Film, a scurrilous compendium of cruelty violence, degradation, and dehumanization, edited and compiled by Peter Weibel and Valie Export, documenting and glorifying Actionist violence and degradation, Gunter Brus is depicted doing just that.[9] (Yes, the Austrian Cultural-Cult-Stars occasionally do a bit of fibbing.)

This book is a veritable treasure trove of inhumanity. The Austrian cultural cult stars can be admired therein in flagranti amid blood, urine and feces. .[10]

Featured in this volume is the depiction of an event in Cologne organized by Weibel and Export in which bullwhips, coils of barbed wire, beer bottles and ether were used to injure Actionists and members of the audience.[11]

 Actionist public and private sado-masochistic events  are geared for public participation. In the “private” events, there are no holds barred.

Among the highlights of this scholarly work are photographs of co-editors Export and Weibel engaging in fellatio with Export. Here’s a quote from the horse’s mouth: “When Valie Export sucks my cock, you can see it.”[12]

A key statement by Weibel: “If we don’t prosper, the world will be blown up.”[13]

Weibel exposed: “Take your cock out! Exhibitionists to the fore!  …We will beat citizens until they become human beings.”[14]

One of the most revolting aspects of Wien book is the juxtaposing of documentary photos of murdered children with photos of Hermann Nitsch actions with innards.[15] Thus, infanticide too is part of Show Biz.
Nitsch: “Killing was and is beyond all moral judgments.”[16]

„ultrabizarre and  extremist performance from the infamous avant garde gang only $29.95!!  EXCELLENT PICT. QUALITY!!“

Thus we have the ideological basis for “snuffing” as a component of art.

This is a description by Peter Weibel, who participated in the “Action” at the University of Vienna on June 7, 1968: “Brus began taking his clothes off, then he climbed onto the podium naked and sang the National Anthem while defecating and masturbating….Then a genuine masochist, whose identity was known to us but not the public, appeared wearing a mask and a bathrobe. He was subsequently whipped (bloody) by Mühl.”[17] The “masochist” of this event is reputed to be the journalist Malte Olschewski.”[18]

An analysis by Peter Weibel: “We wanted to present life in a concentration camp as kind of comic-strip.”

In June of 2005, three events of the Republican Club, New Austria were held in conjunction with the Charim Gallery in Vienna, which is the control center for Otto Mühl and Actionist art in Austria.

Those who promote Otto Mühl’s work are disseminating his spirit. Otto Mühl’s art and life are sold as an entity. His deeds are part of the sales pitch.

I wrote Doron Rabinovici, Club Board Member, suggesting that I present a program, including a discussion, on the subject of Art and Violence. On Feb. 13, 2006, I received the following answer: “I will present your program suggestion to other board members, but I for one, oppose it. I don’t find the topic relevant. It doesn’t fit in our discussion series. There is no reason for us to do it. It doesn’t fit into the dramaturgy of our events. We favor a debate on a topical and controversial subject that reflects the interests of our members.”

What I took to be a lion’s den turned out to be a mouse-hole.

Comment by filmmaker Fritz Kleibel: “Negation in a six pack! –

Naturally this theme does not reflect the interests of some in the Club, who may have in all likelihood invested in this type of art and don’t want to run any risks.”


„I´d rather work with human cadavers“ (Nitsch)


Violence as Art

The topic of violence as an art form is so irrelevant
that a discourse cannot be engaged in.
Yes, it is so irrelevant that even mentioning it is taboo.
It is so irrelevant that in spite of testimonies
describing the sexual abuse of small children,
things are left to run their course.

No advocate of
Violence Under the Guise of Art
was ever prepared
to discuss these matters.
Ditto, for the fellow-travelers.

The cultural setup feigns a democratic approach.
Its earmarks are opportunism, sophism and fellow-traveling.

Freedom of art on this piece of geography means
unlimited freedom for some
and a drastic limitation of such for others.

The cultural setup feigns a democratic approach.
The earmarks are mediocrity, opportunism, sophism and fellow-traveling.

In a totalitarian situation art stands beyond criticism.
Conformity in the arts means that the game is up.

Is the present-day disregard for human values,
as illustrated here again and again,
consistent with the spirit of “bygone” days?

Are bygone days truly bygone?
Or is their essence now being served up
under the protective carapace of art?

Art has always represented the truth over the lie.
Now it is becoming a medium for propagating the lie.

Art was formerly a bastion against the Dark Forces.
Now Dark Forces are ensconced in it.

Cultural unity signifies the end.

Actionist violence borders on crime,
and at times transcends that border.

Otto Mühls Friedrichshof: Freie Sexualität, eine einzige große Familie?!?

Crime and art have been fused in Actionism.
Crime is part and parcel of Actionist art,
and this element is a primary factor in the sales pitch
and an integral part of the market package.

Make no bones about it: Actionism is a bona fide ideology
which is both destructive and anti-humanistic.
Its adherents have expressed their intent.
I take them at their word.
When the Actionists express their aims,
I for one, take them at their word.

There has never been an ideology
in the history of mankind
that its adherents have not tried to realize.

I have only scratched the surface.
I know there’s more to this than meets the eye – or the ear.

The system protects officially-sanctioned “errant” artists.
who commit random acts of violence in shielded venues.

“Anti-fascism” that turns a blind eye towards abusers
is worthless and unworthy of the name anti-fascism.

All the power and money in the world
cannot turn the truth into a lie
and vice-versa.

During the Third Reich there were many perpetrators
and a multitude of fellow-travelers.
The fellow-travelers enabled the perpetrators to murder millions,
including members of my family.
I do not want to live my life as a fellow-traveler,
especially on the former killing grounds.

Are bygone days truly bygone?
Or are we being served up of the same?
And is it now being served up
under the protective carapace of art?

Is the present-day disregard for human values,
as illustrated here again and again,
consistent with the spirit of “bygone” days?

Mühl’s specialty is minors and sex

“We had assumed that Hermann Nitsch’s view of human existence had reached a point ‘beyond good and evil.’ This is so self-evident that it cannot be disputed …

Nitsch the animal lover, of all things, has been accused of cruelty to animals at the performance of “Orgies Mysteries Theater“ at the Leipziger Bühne Theater.”
– Wieland Schmied, art critic

“Nitsch is the greatest animal lover I know. I was present in the Nitsch household at his home when his swatted a mosquito and caused a major marital crisis. Nitsch gave vent to his anger over the senseless death of this living thing.”
– Danielle Spera, Museum Director, Vienna

“Nitsch, who never slaughtered an animal in his life, is constantly referred to as a slaughterer.”
– Profil magazine

Nitsch about his colleague and himself: “Mühl’s specialty is minors and sex and my specialty is the agonizing torture of animals.”

“The Nitsch debate has been truncated long…The Valie Export debate…Viennese Actionism can no longer be the basis for dispute in a civilized state; it has been canonized for quite some time and has found its place in museums. Today anyone who opposes Actionism simply disqualifies himself.”
– Sigrid Löffler, literary critic

Barbarism can never be a reaction against barbarism. It is what it is, even when it has been “canonized.”

“In my view, there is a Biedermeier-like silence concerning this topic. It is good that you have broken through it.”
– Kuno Knöbl


Padhi has the last word

“The Nazis attempted to destroy art from the outside.
Those who practice destruction today have taken over on the inside
and are destroying art from within.”
Comment by the late great object-artist Padhi Frieberger


Mail-Art by Padhi Frieberger



* * * * * * * * *

[1] Letter to the editor by Lore Jarosch, Neue Kronen Zeitung, August 4, 1998, p. 20.
[2] Doron Rabinovici, letter to Herbert Kuhner, December 19, 2005.
[3] Günter Brus, Profil, Sept. 28 1998, Nr. 40, p. 120.
[4] News, No. 18, May 4, 2005, p.155.
[5] Günter Brus: „Da wird richtig die Sau raus­gelassen!“ Profil, 08.03.2013.March 8, 2013.
[6] Peter Weibel, Valie Export, eds.: Wien: Bildkompendium Wiener Aktionismus und Film, Kohlkunst Verlag, Frankfurt, 1970, p. 247.
[7] Dorotheum Catalogue, May 8, 1991, Günter Brus, graphic no. 183.
[8] Karin Kathrein: “Ein ‘Irwisch’ in Paris,” Die Presse, Oct. 14, 1993, Vienna, p. 30.
[9] Peter Weibel, Valie Export, eds.: Wien: Bildkompendium Wiener Aktionismus und Film, Kohlkunst Verlag, Frankfurt, 1970, p. 72-73.
[10] Peter Weibel, Valie Export, eds.: Wien: Bildkompendium Wiener Aktionismus und Film, Kohlkunst Verlag, Frankfurt, 1970, p. 72-73.
[11] Peter Weibel, Valie Export, eds.: Wien: Bildkompendium Wiener Aktionismus und Film, Kohlkunst Verlag, Frankfurt, 1970, p.233 & 237.
[12] Axis, Interview Peter Weibel / Gerhard Petak, April 17, 1985, Vienna.
[13] Fritz Rumler: “Exhibitionisten an die Front,” Der Spiegel, No. 17, April 21, 1970, p. 194.
[14] Fritz Rumler: “Exhibitionisten an die Front,” Der Spiegrel, No. 17, 21, 1969. p. 194.
[15] Ibid., p. 97-114.
[16] Paula Devarney: “Nitsch – Art of Killing,” Caellian, 9. Oktober 1970; Hermann Nitsch: Das rote Tuch – Das Orgien Mysterien Theater – Im Spiegel der Presse 1960-1988, Freibord, Vienna, 1988, p. 106.
[17] Transparent Spezial, ORF, May 8, 1996, description by Peter Weibel.
[18] Profil, No. 23, June, 2008, p. 30.
[19] Wieland Schmied: „Hermann Nitsch: Alte Querelen, aufs Neue ausgebrochen“ Kunstzeitung, August 2013, No. 204, Regensburg, Germany
[20] Danielle Spera: Hermann Nitsch. Leben und Arbeit, Brandstätter, Vienna 2002. p. 9.
[21] Gerhard Jaschke, Ed.: Reizwort Nitsch, Sonderzahl, Vienna, 1995, S. 20, “Einen Spaß,” from Profil, Sept. 1988.
[22] Falter 24-30, 7, No. 30, 1998, p. 18.
[23] Sigrid Löffler: “Banausie am Balhausplatz,” Profil, No. 39, Sept. 21, 1992, Vienna, p. 11.
[24] Kuno Knöbl. March 3, 2004, Düsenberg; En Route Herbert Kuhner, Film by Fritz Kleibel, 2014.