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Galleri Star

Hermann Nitsch


Presented by Morten Viskum

The third artist chosen to exhibit at Galleri Star was the most controversial so far.

Austrian Hermann Nitsch (1938–2022) is renowned for his use of nudity and blood in what he called the ‘actions’ of his collective Orgien Mysterien Theater (Orgiastic Mystery Theatre). Today we would have called them ‘performances’, and there is little doubt that Nitsch, as a leading figure in ‘Viennese Actionism’, has had considerable significance for the way the art scene has developed since the mid-1960s.

Vestfossen showed one video and several photographs from various actions. They were striking images with a ritual character, some nudity, and a lot of blood. Along with these documentary elements, the Kunstlaboratorium also displayed a sheet of music and four blood and oil paintings.

Excerpt of art critic Conny C-A Malmqvist's text for the catalogue:

When I look at the paintings and "actions" of the artist Hermann Nitsch, I think of films like Seven and The Silence of the Lambs. Of men who act out their desires. Of forbidden fantasies; of squirting, flowing and dripping blood. Often over naked bodies. Sacrifices are needed, and in Nitsch's case it is animals that are sacrificed. More often than not lambs. Their guts are torn out of their bellies and the wine flows. A large number of actors and musicians take part in these ritual actions or happening.

Participating artists

  • Hermann Nitsch