Hermann Nitsch Museum

The Nitsch Museum in Mistelbach, Austria, presented the comprehensive retrospective “SINNE UND SEIN” on the occasion of the 75th birthday of Austrian painter and Action artist Hermann Nitsch. In keeping with Hermann Nitsch’s credo that his work should be a school of life, perception, and sensation, to be experienced with all five senses, “HERMANN NITSCH: SINNE UND SEIN” was the first comprehensive retrospective on the artist to employ interactive methods and the deliberate activation of all five senses. Tim Schmelzer’s contribution involved projecting an image of one of Hermann Nitsch’s most important poured paintings from the 1960s above the museum dedicated to his work. When passing through the large-scale projection, visitors were immersed in Hermann Nitsch’s Blutorgelbild.

The “Blutorgel” was a highly controversial multi-day performance in 1962 by Viennese Actionists Adolf Frohner, Otto Muehl, and Hermann Nitsch. Herman Nitsch’s Blutorgelbild (blood, latex paint, and chalk on burlap, 9x2 meters) was a result of this performance. Nitsch created the Blutorgelbild in his seventh painting action. It is covered in vertical drip patterns and splatters of paint extending to the sides and arching downward as a result of applying the paint with brushes and sponges to the vertically positioned support. The sponge was alternately dipped in “red paint, water, and colored water.” Additionally, in response to the uproar created by the performance, the poured painting was also splattered with the blood of a dead lamb.