Hermann Nitsch- Das Orgien Mysterien Theater
PALERMO - From the 10th July, the large industrial space Zac at Cantieri Culturali alla Zisa will host “Hermann Nitsch - The Orgies Mysteries Theatre - (Das Orgien Mysterien Theater)”, curated by Hermann Nitsch, with Giuseppe Morra and Michel Blancsubé.
The spaces of Zac (Zisa Contemporary Art), which was once a hangar for the construction of furniture and aeroplanes, will house a significant selection of the works of Hermann Nitsch, with the help of the Municipality of Palermo’s Department of Culture (Assessorato alla Cultura del Comune di Palermo).
The project has been sponsored by Elenk'art, a Sicilian company that has been a passionate supporter of contemporary language for many years.
The project has been organised by ruber.contemporanea.
The Academy of Fine Arts in Palermo (l'Accademia di Belle Arti di Palermo) will collaborate with the participation of its students who will act as guides for the visitors during the exhibition, and they will collaborate with the creation of the set up coordinated by Professor Agnese Giglia.
The exhibition will be open, free of charge, until the 20th of September, from 9.30 am until 6.30 pm.
Palermo will have the privilege to host the works of Hermann Nitsch after the sudden cancellation of his large exhibition, which was scheduled to be presented at the Jumex Foundation in Mexico City last February, just as his works were being transported from Austria to Mexico. This resounding decision caused an international uproar that saw major newspapers, such as the New York Times, intervene in favour of the Austrian artist.
The exhibition, staged at Zac in Palermo, entitled “Hermann Nitsch - The Orgies Mysteries Theatre (Das Orgien Mysterien Theater)” allows the viewer to understand the complex artistical, philosophical and existential research of one of the major artists of the century, inventor of an innovative force of artistic gesture.
On show, forty large canvases, plus a larger canvas of about ten metres, which will be positioned on the floor.
There will also be forty photographs related to the performance, which will constitute as the cornerstone of Nitsch’s ‘actions’, founder of Viennese Actionism, as a symbol of secular and cathartic ritualism in which origins lie deeply and remotely in collective rituals, which are dionysiac.
These performances are the main protagonists of the numerous videos, also a part of the exhibition, which narrates the most important actions, achieved during the decades by Nitsch himself in his castle in Prinzendrof, near Vienna.
To complete the journey there will be a large “pharmacy”, a two-storey structure that the artist has filled with fetish objects.
The theorisation of the ‘Theatre of Orgies and Mystery’ happened in 1957, thanks to research that was highly influence by psychoanalysis aimed at restoring the primordial link between man and life through extreme practices of great impact.
The ceremonies of Hermann Nitsch usually last several days, always hanging in the balance between Christian rooted liturgy and a more extreme pagan ritual. A process of liberation that goes through performances with animals already destined to be slaughtered, of which blood, yet again, refers to both a sacred world and a profane one, and in which the cooked meats are consumed by the participating audience. “The starting point of my art has always been theatre, and in particular Greek tragedy. But in my theatre there is no fiction, everything truly occurs, it happens.” Hermann Nitsch.
From 1971, the artist has elected his castle in Prinzendorf as a place of reference for his Orgies Mysteries Theatre, where in 1998 he created a performance that lasted six days. It is indeed, through the gestuality of the ritual and together with the presence of moods and blood that the celebration reaches its climax, often passing through a brutality which is part of the human being, who can finally free himself and reach a catharsis. The canvases and the large white coats used and worn during the performance become pure painting, and the subsequent exposure of these completes the ritual.
The music also plays a important role in the work of Nitsch: brass, strings, percussion, and shouts that enhance the extreme reasons of life and death, work together to create a crescendo that involves the participants of the show and the audience.
On the 11th of July at 9 pm, during the exhibition, the spaces at Zac will host a concert of the Synphonie für Mexico City, composed by Hermann Nitsch and conducted by Andrea Cusumano.
Cantieri Culturali alla Zisa, via Paolo Gili 4
Zac- Zisa Arte Contemporanea
da martedì a domenica dalle 9,30 alle18,30
Information and materials about the show