Hermann Nitsch


The o.m. theatre's music

the new, non-additive form - gesamtkunstwerk has the real event as act or course of events. it uses the event's natural sound as a means of musical or acoustic conveyance. the ecstasy of abreaction, of instincts breaking through, of the unreserved satisfaction of desires caused by dionysian excess, needs sound, wants noise. the sadomasochistic tearing apart of skinned animal cadavers, raw flesh and damp innards is driven along by ecstatic noise. noise is an essential element of a far reaching satisfaction of physical desire.

Colour as the core concern of painting

the night, the greatest possible absence of light, leads us back to the darkness of the womb (into the vegetative night of the womb, which hardly knows the sense experience of the eye), even deeper, leads us into the non-existence of our 5 senses, into the unborn, and the not-yet-begotten, into nirvana, into NOTHINGNESS, into non-being. the whole creation, all of its iridescent phenomena are lost in the void.

The development of my painting

colour was one of my key concerns early on
painting is a matter of colour, the glow of colour in the old masters, above all el greco and rembrandt, as well as the bright, sun-rayed colours of the impressionists through to works of the present have all enthralled me. in music colour is expressed through the harmony. an art of sounding colour arose in early polyphony, evolving via bach, the tristan chromatic and the torrid sound of the schönberg school through to the present.

Coloured paintings

an art that turns to directly configuring reality (mostly pre-formed areas of reality) must proceed from painting which grasps colour as a substance itself, as a paste to be smeared and daubed, as a fluid to be squirted and poured. the colour range was unimportant. i dispensed with the diversity of colours in favour of red, the colour signalising flesh and blood. the colour of flesh, passion, dionysian excess and the cross was hurled against the painting surface.

Painting and the O.M. Theatre

i saw the substance that is sensual perception, which has fascinated me, first put into material practice by the art informal painters. they carried this out on a picture surface and i wanted to do the same in theatre. suddenly i wanted to paint the walls of my theatre. i dreamt of smeared, sullied picture surfaces. all of the substances i employed in my theatre were to run down the walls. menstrual blood, pus, hot wax, cow dung, urine were to flow and drip from the walls in thick streams. pats of mucus were to be slapped against the walls and splatter.


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