Otto Mühl

Otto Mühl, Nahrungsmitteltest, Materialaktion No. 26 (Food Test, Material Action No. 26), 1966. Performance view, Perinetkeller, Vienna, February 1966. Anni Brus and Ziemi Schieb. Photo: Ludwig Hoffenreich. © KH Hein.

WITH THE DEATH OF OTTO MÜHL, the legendary life of the artist comes to its completion.

Otto freed himself from a kind of “cubistic” compulsiveness through psychoanalysis. Obtrusive cleanliness and an overly obsessive neurotic conformism made him an anarchist. His amazing talent pushed all boundaries.

Otto had an incredible sense of humor. While my work was always dominated by the Dionysian pathos of the tragic, humor could erupt at any moment in any of Otto’s performances. And while I was never keen on politics in relation to my work, there are an immense number of manifestos by Otto in which political misdemeanors are scourged with powerful eloquence. Otto, Günter Brus, and Rudolf Schwarzkogler all confronted the fact of the Gesamtkunstwerk—that there should be a transition of art into life—and Aktionismus (Actionism) stands out as being especially close to life.


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