Los Angeles

Otto Muehl


A member of the Viennese Aktionist movement of the 1960s, and noted in particular for “material actions” that involved coating bodies engaged in choreographed carnality in soup, juice, and milk, Otto Muehl is no stranger to shock. Founder of the promiscuity-centered Friedrichshof Commune, he was imprisoned for most of the ’90s on charges of “criminal acts against morality.” The real surprise about Muehl’s recent exhibition at MC, however, was that it represented the eighty-year-old’s first-ever solo exhibition in the US. Attempting to make up for lost time, the gallery borrowed works from the Friedrichshof Collection and the Otto Muehl Archive in Paris, offering a spotty survey that included three 1964 short films by Kurt Kren, each documenting a Muehl performance.

Although they now look rather like home movies from a scatology cult, it’s difficult not to be nostalgic about these films.

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