Wednesday, May 18, 2016


I flew to Vienna to jibber and jabber with Erwin on his rising ventures, and all around body of work for the future AÏE VII "The Frisky & Witty Issue." The artist Erwin Wurm is notorious for his One Minute Sculptures, his Fat Cars among other iconic pieces he created.
The artist Erwin Wurm who stood for One Minute ;) 

 What I uncovered in the process was as "Frisky & Witty" as it gets. Vienna offered the quintessence of mental stimulus. I reached at first, the classic landmark - The Leopold Museum where the magnificence of Egon Schiele lies. The architecture of the Museum is as transcendent as its substance. 

Barring what I examined at 
the Museum of Modern Art / MUMOK on route to further my investigation on the Secession and the Viennese scene,was surprisingly obscene.
 However and most essentially the Body - Psyche & Taboo  exhibition notified me of the immense greatness of Vienna's artistic characters, movements, and participants. 

  Body - Psyche & Taboo 
is a substantial and gripping exhibition on Vienna Actionists. Vienna Actionism often summed-up as a "short and violent art movement of the XXth century," is an action based art form, which began in the 1960s.

Günter Brus - Flyer for the Aktion Stress Test 1960

The Actionists sprung during the rigid minded post-war era, and the culture of repression fostered theses factions.Through "Aktions" and performances of Hermann Nitsch, Günter Brus, Otto Muehl and Rudolf Schwarzkogler the body is directly deployed as a medium, and becomes a surface of projection.

  "Leda and the Swan"  Otto Meuhl's performance.

Sigmund Freud's legacy is adjacent as the psychologizing tendency remains, only its tailored towards the anatomy. With Egon Schiele in 1910, where and when, the body is presented in direct tension. Later the Actionists drifted towards physiological-psychological experiences.  

(This is when it gets stomach-wrenching, I will spare you videos. In June 28th 1963 the Viennese police raided Otto Meulh's and Hermann Nitch's performances for public indecency.)

 Still and exerpts of Hermann Nitsch happenings.
"Festival of Psycho-Physical naturalism." 

Hermann Nitsch and Otto Meuhl recreated the equivalent of a human swamp with blood, guts, bodies, bread, glue, and cement. Transgressing whatever is left of transgression, toying with the disgusting and the desirable,  breaking taboos through films and performances, these actions were powerfully documented by the photographer Ludwig Hoffenreich who fixed the sex, violence and profanity of Otto Meuhl's art. 
 (This is where it gets very interesting). 
 Otto Muehl 1925 -2013

As a magazine die hard fan, I bought a 032c Summer 2014 issue and drooled over Mario Sorrenti's editorial styled by Mel Ottenberg. I hadn't seen anything alike in a while, and therefore the editorial was neatly folded and carved in a corner of my memory. The Body - Psyche & Taboo enabled me to open my drawer and understand why I thought Mario Sorrenti's editorial was idiosyncratic.  

Cosinus Alpha 1964 looks as though 032c's editorial was the source of genie.


Otto Meuhl's Cosima Alpha aktion 1964
photo by Ludwig Hoffenreich

The Actionists present the female body without any concerns for societal conventions and use the body without taboos.
Cosinus Alpha show women's bodies as powerful and vigorous. The intention of the voyeuristic gaze is submitted by the presence of the filmmaker Kurt Krenk (seen in the picture), and shot by Ludwig Hoffenreich in an attempt to communicate Otto Meuhl's message - To defy the bourgeois post-war reasoning.
Mario Sorrenti  for 032c Summer 2014

Mario Sorrenti for 032c Summer 2014


Otto Muehl - Cosima Alpha 1964 performance by Ludwig Hoffenreich

 Mario Sorrenti for 032c Summer 2014

Otto Muehl
photo Ludwig Hoffenreich 

 Mario Sorrenti for 032c Summer 2014  

 Otto Muehl and filmmaker Kurt Kren. Photo Ludwig Hoffenreich 

 Mario Sorrenti for 032c Summer 2014 

 Material action #11 Mama und Papa (Otto & Soraya) by Ludwig Hoffenreich

What is compelling is that in 1943 Otto served the German Wehrmacht. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1944 and took part in the Ardennes Offensive.  In 1972 founded the "Friedrichshof Commune" an anti-society which was an authoritarian sect. In 1991 he was convicted for sex on minors, drug offence, and sentenced to prison. He then and exiled to Portugal where he died.

In 2010 Vienna gave him a lifetime tribute by presenting a solo show at the Leopold Museum. Otto Meuhl died in 2013. 
In 2014, I pick-up the issue of the phenomenal 032c, where and when I discovered this sensational undeclared homage to Otto Meuhl.

 This exhibition inspired me to converse with Erwin Wurm on the appropriation of artists ideas as he is no stranger to plagiarism. His concepts/art/ideas have been directly used by advertising agencies, designers, and also artists to the point he's a had to take Aktion. But Erwin is more fun than fed-up, but does appreciate America for their nobility in crediting the source. 

Erwin Wurm gained international exposure when the director Mark Romanek asked for Erwin's permission to use his One Minute Sculpture concept for the Music video " Can't Stop" by the Red Hot Chilli Pepper. 

Enjoy!! Its Frisky and Witty...

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