Music » Livewire

Hermann Nitsch's Die Aktionen 1962-2003

With Ralf Hausmann, Bee Mask, Skin Graft, Nate Scheible, Mark & Steve (of Emeralds), and Noumena. Friday, July 13, at Parish Hall, Ohio City. No one under 18 admitted.


Not everyone recognizes the statuesque beauty of a young blonde with a face drenched in pig's blood. If you're over 21, however, and you dig such things, there's an art movement for you.

In the early '60s, Austria reared Viennese Aktionism, a cluster of controversial performance artists who produced short films and happenings, exploring the visceral details of physical textures (e.g., naked chicks, blood, feathers, etc.).

Hermann Nitsch is one of the movement's most important contributors. He's even been arrested three times. Inspired by Greek mythology, Dada, and Freudian psychology, Nitsch's Orgy Mystery Theatre is a purposefully sacrilegious performance, involving the disembowelment and crucifixion of live animals, nudes smeared with entrails, and ritual dancing.

A significant influence on industrial culture, Nitsch's films employ music more than those of any other Aktionist -- tenderly layered drones clash with his violent imagery.

Parish Hall, in conjunction with the Mike Weiss Gallery, presents an overview of Nitsch's "aktions," selected from a DVD retrospective titled Die Aktionen 1962-2003. Before the screening, several experimental musicians are scheduled to perform, including Noumena and Cleveland freak Bee Mask.

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