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Hermann Nitsch

THE STUNNING SCHEDULE of events for Hermann Nitsch’s Six-Day-Play, a happening held last August at his Schloss, in Prinzendorf, Austria, reads like a cross between death-metal theatrics and harmonic-convergence hippiedom. The day begins, “5:32 AM: Sunrise. Slaughter and disembowelment of a bull.” This kicks off a tight lineup: Primal Excess, Primal Beginnings, Matricide, Patricide, Fratricide, the Murder on the Cross, and the Fall. There’s a lunch break—nothing like fratricide to work up an appetite—followed by “Partial mounting of the mythical leitmotif,” with a unison hooting of all the assembled orchestras and brass bands. The next day’s events begin at sunrise. At 9 AM, brass bands walk around the castle in opposite directions; at 10, in the granary, Nitsch and some actors in the play make paintings by dripping blood onto white surfaces. Lunch again, followed by the blinding

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