• Hermann Nitsch

    Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum

    In his filmed performance Maria Conception, 1969, Hermann Nitsch, dressed up in a chasuble and surrounded by his assistants, makes no concessions to illusion. The film’s directors, Irm and Ed Sommer, make it clear that the organizing idea of Nitsch’s simulated surgical operations and flowing blood is one of shock and horror; the distanced tone of their presentation makes his Orgies Mysteries Theatre come over like a slap in the face. The sadomasochistic performance, a welter of anarchism and religious references, culminates in the besmirching of a naked woman bound to a cross with the blood and

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