(Original title: Life as a Work of Art)
March 3 – May 31, 2004
Board of Trustees:
Andreas Treichl, Chairman (Bank Austria, Director)
Scholten Vice-Chairman (Kontroll-Bank, Director,)
Mühl is one of the most important artists of the post-war
never has, never had sex the commune with small children. If
Otto Mühl slept with 13- to 14-year old girls, has as been
alleged, this resulted from adhering to an idea, and not a
perverted idea. We
thought that one is very ripe at thirteen.
are dealing with the artistic work of Otto Mühl ... The
exhibit is necessary in order to determine who Otto Mühl is.
On the other hand, these elements cannot be separated from
‘moral-attackers’ look a bit ridiculous as they bang the
same heads against the same wall decade after decade.
Rudolf Scholten, MAK Board of Trustees
Under the Guise of Art
The Fourth Reich of Savagery in the Arts
new fascism will not declare itself as fascism, but rather as
obscenity, charlatanism, sadistic excesses, orgies, the
aesthetics of the cesspool are our moral means.
Murder is an integral part of sex.
It will soon become
an ethical necessity to rob banks and to shoot a random
Otto Mühl, actionist
specialty is minors and sex and my specialty is the agonizing
torture of animals....I could well envision that murder could
be a component of a work of art.
Killing was and is beyond all moral
Hermann Nitsch, actionist
have learned from Hermann Nitsch. We have begun to understand
him....Now we think more profoundly. Only the adherents of
National Socialism do not understand him.
Alfred Worm, editor-in-chief of News.
actionism can no longer be the basis for dispute in a
civilized state; it has been canonized for quite some time and
has found its place in museums. Today anyone who opposes
actionism simply disqualifies himself.
Sigrid Löffler, critic
guarantee Nitsch the protection of the state for practicing
his profession freely.
Dr. Peter Wittmann Austrian State Secretary for Culture.
we don’t prosper, the world will be blown up.
Peter Weibel, actionist and Cultural Commissar
World War II a thorough purge of
National Socialism failed to take place in Austria. According
to legend, the post-war literary leftovers were displaced by
an “anti-fascist” literary movement in the Fifties. The
actionists composed part of that movement.
Those who had served a barbarous regime were replaced
by those who favored the public practice of barbarism. And
they have held sway ever since. After the collapse of the
Third Reich its spirit merely reasserted itself in another
has been integrated into the arts and poses as a protest
order to retrieve the lost honor of the Third Reich, the Nazis
deny the reality of the gas chambers, but being what they are,
declare their intent to do a thorough job the next time around.
The revisionists are less candid and more sophistic.
revisionists are the “respectable” heirs to the National
Socialists, and they act as their apologists. Their aim is to
rehabilitate the Third Reich and to exonerate those who
participated in barbarism. The revisionists mitigate the
barbarism of the Third Reich but condemn the barbarism of the
has been integrated into anti-fascism in Austria. Thus the
apologists for National Socialism can assume a
holier-than-thou stance and can score easy points against the
“anti-fascists.” Those who do not favor the
sado-masochistic extravaganzas of the actionists are inhibited
about expressing their views since they fear being linked to
the unsavory elements that vent their opposition. I quote the
sociologist Michael Ley: “The ‘anti-fascist’ label
seemed to insure immunity from any criticism and every critic
was classified as a ‘fascist.’”
battle in the Austrian news media concerning the Third Reich
is to a great extent being waged by the revisionists, who
strive to improve the Reich's “image” and those who are
exploiting the Holocaust for their own purposes. The National
Socialists mostly practiced barbaric acts in venues shielded
from public view. While committing crimes, they wanted to
present a decent and honorable image to the world. Today the
word “decent” is used as a Nazi code word. This is part of
a tradition. Heinrich Himmler: “We
all know what it is like to see
a hundred corpses lie side by side, or five-hundred
corpses, or a thousand; to have remained decent
this, that is a page of honor
in the history of Germany that can never be written.”
revisionist is not opposed to violence per se, he simply
assumes the role critic when its perpetrators and advocates
are associated with another political camp. Advocates and
practitioners of violence in Austria can be found marching in
the front ranks of the Austrian anti-fascist faction and are
cashing in on the situation. What
a blessing for the revisionists! They are being served the
best cards on a silver tray, enabling them to flay present
events as well as play down the past.
the artist Adolf Frohner: “The actionists remonstrated
against the silence that followed 1945. Influential positions
were still occupied by those who had held them during the Nazi
era. Their Swastika badges were either pinned under their
lapels or had been thrown away.”
Sometimes the “antidote” is as toxic as the
had Ernst Röhm and his SA-henchman done away with in June of
‘34. Röhm was Hitler's adversary, but he was anything but
an anti-Nazi. Which goes to show that birds of a feather don't
always fly together. That same year, Hitler ordered the murder
of Austrian Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss. Dollfuss was an
anti-Nazi, but not an anti-fascist. It is essential to know
what one favors as well as what one opposes.
Josef Goebbels publicized the Soviet massacre of Polish
officers in Katyn in 1941, he did so because it fit into his
concept. We know that he was not opposed to massacres, for the
murders he was responsible for and approved of were
Demagogues don't always have to lie. They tell the
truth when it serves their purposes.
A demagogue cannot turn a lie into the truth, nor can
he turn the truth into a lie.
No liar lies all the time. Even a broken clock tells
the right time twice a day.
is impossible for me to deal with Austrian actionism without
referring to my own fate as a remigré. As one who had to flee
Austria, or rather “Ostmark,” in 1939 or share the fate of
those who chose to stay or could not leave, I have aversion to
the gratuitous stifling of life, wanton brutality and the
degradation of man as well as the desecration of religious
cult objects. After I had returned to Austria in 1963, I was
confronted with a closed-door policy as a writer. When I
published my satire on actionism, Da-Da
Ga-Ga Ca-Ca, in 1972, the key was turned in the lock.
I quote Michael Ley: “Only an ostracized outsider discerned
what really lay concealed behind the fraudulent phrase
‘anti-fascist art’: the affirmation of totalitarian
violence and not its censure.”
art and literature it becomes more and more difficult to
separate the sheep from the goats, in other words: valid
artists from charlatans. It's all a matter of opinion. (In my
humble opinion, the goats gained the upper hand long ago, and
their bleating is the dominant sound.) However, public
“actions” such as the flagellation of self and others, the
drinking of blood and urine, the eating of feces, copulation
to the accompaniment of fecal production, self-mutilation,
self-immolation and tormenting animals to death are actions
that I for one could not keep silent about. Examples: Valie
Export poured scalding wax over live birds. Günter Brus slit his
chest open with a razor blade
and declared that the next step would be to cut a piece of
himself off and eat it. Rudolf Schwarzkogler committed suicide
as a ritualistic act of self-immolation. It is alleged that he
his penis off before defenstrating himself.
actions are engaged in and supported by the Austrian cultural
elite, la crème de la
crème, and meet the approval of those in power as well as
those aspiring power. The promoters of the actionists are very
skillful and well versed in the art of sophistry. Those who
are not proponents or fellow travelers have been cowed and
usually keep mum. They comprise an integral part of the
anti-fascist scene. And some fear that an open discussion will
weaken the anti-fascist faction.
for its own sake is the antithesis of anti-fascism.
this topsy-turvy situation, “artists” advocating and
engaging in violence are sacrosanct, and they have been
sanctioned by the State.
The question is whether mendacity and calumny can serve a good purpose.
I answer that in the negative. Clarification is long overdue.
And I say: Let the chips fall where they may!
Nazis destroyed human values as well as humans. They attempted
to cancel art and literature out, replacing it with an
antiseptic and illustrative depiction of the glories of
motherhood and military heroism, as well as family, farming
and factory scenes. Basically National-Socialist art, or
non-art, consisted of a sham portrayal of the patriotic love
of Mother Earth and the Fatherland.
scurrilous, sado-masochistic, anti-humanistic, murderous
elements in the anti-Semitic tracts, cartoons and propaganda
films are rarely to be found in official National-Socialist
art. Thus the lie of illustrative Nazi non-art was doublefold.
The lie was intended to reflect a movement and society that
were “wholesome.” It does not bring to the fore what
National Socialism was really about. Actionist art, or
anti-art if you will, provides what is missing. It is indeed
more honest. And one could make a plea for it being
representative of the society in which it is entrenched. It is
revealing that those who have literally defecated on the state
have achieved the highest status as state artists. Today
opposing actionism is tantamount to opposing the state.
Nazis catered to sado-masochistic tastes, with the emphasis on
sadism. The Third Reich provided its adherents with the
opportunity of living out their sadistic fantasies. The
concentration camps and other murderous venues were a Paradise
for sadistic camp commanders, administrators, guards, capos
and Death’s Head SS-Men.
the exception of the Kristallnacht,
the pogrom of November 9, 1938, barbarous acts usually took
place behind locked doors, closed gates and barbed wire, or in
Nazis wanted to be known as brave warriors, not the mass
murderers of helpless civilians. While behaving dishonorably,
they wanted to convey an honorable image. Thus, after World
War II right up to the present, the official Nazi line is to
deny the Holocaust by promulgating the so-called “Auschwitz
lie.” And Neo-Nazis still stick to this while they engage in
acts of terror against refugees, members of minority groups
and those who aid them in Germany and Austria.
Revisionism is the close cousin of dialectical materialism. It is an
attempt to change the past by rewriting history. Revisionists,
as we know, are not opposed to violence. The business of the
revisionist is to play down, minimize and belie the barbarity
of the Third Reich. He merely opposes violence when the
perpetrators belong to another political camp.
revisionists present themselves as the foes of those who
engage in actionist extravaganzas. The actionists and their
advocates declare that they do what they do in order to combat
fascism. Opposition by the revisionist faction is opportune
and fits into the scheme of things. The syllogism used is that
since condemnation comes from the revisionists, all adversity
must be associated with revisionism. Thus the advocates of
actionism have very skillfully maneuvered the apologists for
fascism into a position of not having to be mendacious
concerning this subject.
who feel uneasy about this situation are usually afraid of
being labeled as fascists if they speak out. And speaking out
can have its consequences, since it means countering power and
influence. Regretfully, in this topsy-turvy situation, those
who utter criticism of public
actionist cruelty are not to be found on the Left, but
rather on the Right. Thus, opposing violence under the guise
of art is “synonymous” to favoring fascism in present-day
books are more dangerous than open books.
present is a key to the past, as well as vice versa. The
revisionist faction is an open book, but accurate historical
perception can only be achieved if the closed books are opened.
pernicious spirit of National Socialism has been channeled
into the arts, and it is clearly expressed in the arts. Its
advocates operate under the sanctified carapace of art.
is a route to the inner sanctum for artists who conform to the
trend, as well as other artists who are well on in years. The
latter have the prospect of being exploited in their remaining
years and having their work sold at high prices posthumously.
Assent includes engaging in actions that make one subject to
blackmail. A prominent promoter told an artist who refused to
comply that divulging information could result in
A brotherhood in evil holds perpetrators together,
just as blood served as an agglutinate for the SS.
the film Das
Meisterspiel (The Master Game) directed by Lutz Dammbeck,
he and Helmut Kohlenberger draw parallels between two
quotations. One stems from a letter by the anonymous
self-proclaimed perpetrator who alleged to have painted over
the painted-over paintings of Arnulf Rainer: “I decided to
become an actionist.” The other is a phrase from Adolf
Hitler’s Mein Kampf
: “I decided to become a politician.” Kohlenberger: "The
cultural scene in which one makes a decision to become an
actionist is the structural successor (to National Socialism)
... I believe that the cultural scene, in its entirety,
comprises the structural successor to that regime, for it is
the only dictatorship which is allowed in this country (Austria).
Lutz Dammbeck: "In other words, in the cultural scene one
can give vent to Nazi-type barbarity under a Leftist banner.”
Kohlenberger: “Here is text that brings to mind that there
is a continuity right in the midst of the asserted
discontinuity, and right where you might least expect to find
it, that is amongst the good old leftist and anti-fascistic
artist recognizes his work when it is sent to his home free of
charge via the media.” (From a letter sent to Dr. Michael
Sika, the Director of the Security Police, after the letter
bomb attack on Dr. Helmut Zilk, the Mayor of Vienna.)
to Josef Dvorak: ”In a back room of the Mühl Commune on
Praterstrasse, Hermann Flasch and others were constructing
explosive devices. They planned to send letter bombs to
various politicians and institutions, and all traces should
lead to Hermann Flasch. The police were to find him dead. The
suicide was to be carried out according to an exact
”happening partitur”, and it was to be filmed. In June of
1972, I found out the details Hermann Flasch’s plan....On
June 4th Flasch wandered around aimlessly in the
Prater Amusement Park in Vienna and called me to ask for help.
We arranged to meet on June 8th, and I saw him
three times after that. He
showed me the partitur of the suicide happening, which I had
previously seen but not understood at the Mühl Commune. I
found out the names of others involved in the ”explosive
action” ... Beside his body the police found the suicide ”partitur.”
The suicide had been carried out exactly according this plan.
Days after the body had been discovered, the last of the
explosive devices arrived at their addressees. In September of
1973, I wrote an obituary for Neues Forum. Mühl
blocked its publication, and he threatened me with
consequences if I wrote articles critical of Viennese
actionism. I would no longer be able to practice my profession
in Austria ... A few
days later their it became clear that the Flasch Case was to
be hushed up. The police investigation was superficial and
background information did not find its way the into the
newspapers. An influential political functionary (unsuccessfully)
attempted to prevent an anti-Mühl article from being
published in the Arbeiter-Zeitung. Colleagues warned me
that there would be ”repercussions” by influential people:
I knew too much.”
the seventies, an American journalist investigated allegations
of pedophilia and snuffing. He asserted that he was unable to
proceed due to political blocking.
stood to reason that a man who had publicly copulated while
wallowing in excrement,
a man who had decapitated a goose and used the neck to
penetrate a woman
was suited to direct a commune and be
the guardian of children. There he reigned for almost two
decades while the funding flowed in and praise came from the
Kreisky: “...my friend the great painter, perhaps the best
we have in Austria.
He went through a great and intense development as a human
being, and he as a matter of fact, brought new humane
qualities to the life of the community.”
concerning the Commune: “From a liberal point of view, we
have no choice but to let these young people go their way.
We must offer this experiment protection against being
attacked by the press, above all by German papers.”
politicians who vociferously supported the Commune are Theodor
Kery, Hilde Hawlicek, Karl Blecha and Helmut Zilk.
the winter of 1989, Mühl and his fellow actionists were
honored at their exhibit their exhibition in Kassel, Germany,
by Austrian Chancellor Franz Vranitzky who traveled there to
are quotations by the leader of the Commune. “Everything
is worthy of presentation....That includes rape and
“Coitus, torture and the annihilation of man and beast is
the only drama worth viewing.....Murder is an integral part of
sex. House pets have to serve as surrogates. I intend to
commit the perfect murder on a goat that will serve as a
substitute for a woman.
In my next films humans will be slaughtered. Slaughtering
humans must not continue to be a monopoly of the state. It
will soon become an ethical necessity to rob banks and to
shoot a random cripple down.”
Cultural Commissar Peter Weibel about a political figure, who
happens to have been a man of integrity: “I knew a
university professor called Stephan Koren. He was cripple
and wanted to convince me that he was a man like me. In order
to prove this he pressed on in politics to the rank of
minister with just one arm...when Koren the cripple
raises his left arm during his speeches, it becomes a ghastly
monument of his dissipated and mutilated humanity...this scum
of the nation fills every healthy Austrian with such dread
that the pupils of his eyes would burst at the sight.”
by Weibel: ”The true heroes of freedom are those who commit
crimes run amuck and assassinate. It is only possible for man
to realize himself by running amuck, by murder and by
assassination….I would be glad if I had the strength to act
like the assassins and those who run amuck. These are
exceptional human achievements for me.”
Wiener: “We thought about killing people as a work of art,
or that sort of thing – if that is radical. But it did not
happen. Bayer, Achleitner, Rühm and I met for intensive
discussions on an almost daily basis for two or three years.”
Nitsch: “I could well envision that murder could be a
component of a work of art; the artist’s accountability
would be on another level.…Thus, art can consist of a crime.”
Killing was and is beyond all moral judgments.”
we have the ideological basis for “snuffing” as a
component of art.
Otto Mühl’s credo:
The Friedrichshof Lord’s Prayer
live the whole!
must resist temptation to sin against the whole
sex as well as with my belongings
in thought and deed.
must be for the good of the whole.
will terminate the program
has been impressed on me
strange ethical persons
transform it into a social program
the good of the whole.
think, work, act and feel
for the whole.
the whole I am nothing.
more “I consider the adults as just a food the children. My
plan would be, 5,000 children with the adults renouncing
happiness and merely earn money here close, so this can be
built up. The only purpose is to change oneself. A
relationship between two people is a thing of the past, no
more private feelings, you dismantle everything and there is
no longer a fixation on money. You serve only one en: Project
third generation. The children of the third generation who are
better than everyone, humans the like of which the world has
this bring Lebensborn to mind? Lebensborn was the Nazi
breeding ground for the Master race.
Mühl about himself: “I am probably the most vain man under
God’s Heaven....Caesar, Napoleon, Stalin, Lenin and Hitler
accomplished great things that are still spoken about in
either a negative or a positive sense; the most important aim
in life should be to be talked about. Life would have no
meaning without that.…Being world-famous is marvelous.
Otherwise life would be asinine. I wouldn’t be able to bear
not being renowned. I am famous and I will become more famous.
Even if I hadn’t become famous through actionism, I’d have
achieved fame through the Commune.”
it cannot be denied that Otto Mühl achieved his aims.
Mühl about his colleagues: “Nitsch is a sadist with a mania
for approbation, an autistic alcoholic who’s completely
narcissistic, a mother’s boy who didn’t get enough
attention. Rainer is genuinely violent and a sadist. Nitsch
torments the participants in his actions; they’re constantly
freezing. He arranges that intentionally. I’d like to know
how many became ill, how many caught pneumonia, how many died.”
about his colleague: “Mühl’s specialty is minors and sex
and my specialty is the agonizing torture of animals.”
a fledgling “actionist” Mühl enjoyed the support of the
late Monsignor Otto Mauer. Mauer along with Bishop Alois Hudal
who was located at the Vatican, was a member of the Rat Line
and aided escaping Nazis, as well as those who remained in
Austria. Among Mauer’s
protégés was former Third Reich publicist Otto Schulmeister,
who in turn supported Mauer. Mauer and Schulmeister
collaborated as editors on the Catholic cultural monthly Wort
und Wahrheit together, which they founded in the Fifties.
Schulmeister, 1989: “There
were many swine at the time, not only brown ones.”
Asked whether he regretted what he had written during the
Third Reich in National Socialist organs, he replied: "Not
in the least!”
Mauer, pater familias of the actionists, was the official
Catholic “caretaker of souls” for artists.
Mauer in 1948, the years after
the Holocaust: “The Jews have immense influence on communism and capitalism. They
pass themselves off as defenders of humanity...but they are
nothing but a depraved people with a perverted spirit....They
have been condemned to eternal damnation....They invariably
choose the evil path.”
Mauer was more conciliatory. In 1949 he wrote: “There is a
solution to the Jewish problem, but just one: the Jews must
recognize Christ as the Messiah, the heathens must become
Mauer, during the
Third Reich: “The artist is in league with the devil, either
as one possessed or as an exorcist.”
to artist Günther Kraus: “A good Catholic cannot be a good
labeled the object-artist Padhi Friebeger as a heretic. Then
he offered to promote Frieberger if he joined the Catholic
Dvorak about Otto Mauer: “He thought that Otto Mühl and
Hermann Nitsch were much better suited to his gallery than
mine. That is why his intrigue against me was unlimited.”
April 17, 1967, Mühl along with Oswald Wiener and Peter
actionist performance in Mauer’s Gallery St. Stephan.
(This was followed by the sado-masochistic extravaganza at the
University of Vienna on June 7th.) Mühl had made a
name for himself by engaging in public fecal orgies.
These were to serve as the basis for the "failed
Mühl: “Democracy is a load of shit!”
a description of a visit to the Commune by dramatist Peter
Turrini: “The first time I was able to generate the sympathy
of the group was by a matricide. I performed a ritualistic
matricide and I screamed, shouted, cried, pissed and shat,
disintegrating completely and yet at the same time, acting and
experiencing murder, which was always combined, the end and I
lay there, naked and sweating and sobbing, they approached me
and caressed me and said. 'That was insanely pleasant,' and it
really was, for who, after all, is the real murderer of his
mother? My introduction to the group was a matricide.”
member Andreas Schlothauer: “Most of the former members of
the commune know that Otto Mühl abused girls whose ages
ranged 12 to 16. He practiced what was known in the Middle
Ages as ‘jus primae noctis’, however Mühl extended this
right for weeks or months.”
members of the commune rebelled, it was the revisionist yellow
press that brought him down. Liberal elements either defended
him or stayed on the sidelines.
revisionistic dogma, it must be stated here that those who
attempt to downplay the murder of one-and-a-half million
children in the death factories of the Third Reich are not
against the abuse of children per se.)
those who countered criticism of the Commune was Peter
Sichrovsky, who was employed by Mühl as a PR-advisor.
Sichrovsky acted as Mühl’s champion with articles such as Das
Sonenenreich des Aktionisten (The Sunny Realm of the
Schlothauer concerning proceedings during the trial of Mühl
on January 23, 1990: “After the moving descriptions of seven
girls who were sexually abused by Mühl, a compilation of
videos was shown after the courtroom had been cleared of
spectators. In addition to violent actions by Mühl, his wife
Claudia was shown forcing minors to engage in oral sex with
her in front of an enthusiastic audience. ’I have seen the
films, and they cannot be compared to anything I’ve ever
viewed,’ said Frau Jelinek, the judge (not related to
Austrian writer Elfriede Jelinek). ‘The boys did not want to
do it; they were in tears. They received a permanent shock.
One was her son, the son and his stepmother!’ (One of the
boys was the son of Otto Mühl and Claudia’s sister).”
attorney Rabonog, still under the impression of the testimony
of witnesses and the videos, stated in his summation: 'I have
taken part in many major trials, but the fate of the victims
has never moved me so much as in this one. Mühl engages in
the practice of terror. History has shown us what a
concentration camp is. What the girls in the Friedrichshof had
to go through was just as horrible. Otto Mühl experimented
with people; he manipulated them. He was so sensitive as an
artist that he thought that when a girl said “no” she
meant “yes.” The children weren't voluntarily there; he
had taken their parents from them, and thus the ability of
leaving the commune. They didn't have a chance.’”
Mühl's trial in Eisenstadt ended with a conviction and a
seven-year sentence for “the sexual abuse of minors, rape
and forced abortion.”
his incarceration, Mühl was honored by two highly-subsidized
exhibits under the aegis of Ursula Pasterk, Municipal Cultural
Coordinator of the City of Vienna.
those colleagues who spoke for him are Christian Ludwig
Attersee, Kurt Kalb, Oswald Oberhuber, Arnulf Rainer and
Hermann Nitsch who compared him with Egon Schiele.
This comparison was also used by Green politician Peter Pilz:
“And what about Egon Schiele who served nine
sentences in prison?"
(Egon Schiele was sentenced once to two weeks in prison for
using underage girls as nude models without the consent of
a comment by Heinz Sichrovsky of News:
“Mühl was the only artist who attempted in his Commune
to realize political utopias of freedom for sex and from
possessions. He failed grotesquely and went to prison for
it should be stated that Otto Mühl tripped up. Usually
rolling in feces ultimately means rolling in dough with no
Otto Mühl was rewarded after his release from prison by
having a "dramolette" performed at Claus Peymann's
Burgtheater on February 12, 1998 with support from Peter
Turrini, Christian Ludwig Attersee and Einar Schleef. An
exhibit of Mühl's prison paintings opened on February 18,
1998 at the Austrian Museum of Applied Art in Vienna.
Peymann emphatically stated that he was justified to place the
Burgtheater at Mühl’s disposal
since “Mühl had served his sentence.“ Mühl’s play Muchl
is, among other things, a travesty of the legal system that
had found Mühl guilty of the abuse and rape of minors.
remorse for his actions: “I have no feelings of guilt for
what I have done.“
in Die Zeit, February 26, 20004:
“I’m not a child molester. That’s idiotic. They
were all fully-developed girls.”
Die Zeit: “They were
12 and 13 years old.”
Mühl: “So what! I allegedly raped one of them. That certainly was not
the case. I’m sorry that they are all so devastated. They
are victims of the breaking up of the commune, rather than of
Press Conference, Café Landtmann, Vienna, March 1, 2004 by
former members of the Commune: “According to the latest
information, Otto Mühl began to abuse small children from the ages
of four to five in the 1970s. He did this regularly over the
years. Such abuse took place at times in front of the Commune
Leadership and was not brought up at Mühl’s trial in
1991….In a conversation that took place five months Frau
(Claudia) Mühl told us that she was now
practicing ’intergenerational exchange of tenderness.’”
young women have come forward with new accusations prior the
opening of Mühl-Show in MAK, which they consider to be an
attempt to rehabilitate the artist. They claim that Mühl not
only abused teenagers, as has already been confirmed, but
younger children as well.
sworn statements the two victims describe how Mühl forced
them to participate in sexual actions when they were small
children. One of the women, who is now 29 years old, describes
how Mühl forced her to engage in sexual actions with him in
front of the leadership of the commune at the age of five.
women state that at the time of Mühl’s trial, they were
forced to remain silent about these occurrences by members of
Georg Hoffmann-Ostenhof. Profil:
“Some gentlemen in high places - we have heard - visited Mühl
in order to have themselves served by wild women.”
to an article by Manfred Seeh in Die
Presse, 17.8 million Austrian Shillings hush money was
paid to the parents of underage girls and other members
of the commune prior to Otto Mühl's trial in 1988-9. That is
approximately one and a half million dollars.
not all the notables went to the Commune to be served “wild
women,” and what was provided there is now being provided
cultural personage admitted that pedophilia continues to be
practiced in organized artistic circles.
decades ago I published Da-Da
Ga-Ga Ca-Ca, a satire on actionism. I wrote: “He smeared
foodstuffs on nude models. But recently he had changed his
act. Symbolic defecation had made way for the real thing. And
then there was his friend, another happening man. Slaughtering
lambs was his act….This was the dance around the golden
calf. No it was the dance around the golden ass. I heard a
snorting and sang a giant horned head. It was the Minotaur.
Its shaggy beast's body was galloping through the crowd….It
was a night on which I had expected murder, suicide and rape.
Now all of these things were taking place. I could no longer
differentiate one body from another. That thing was one body.
It was a body that was committing murder, suicide and rape.“
this text caused me to be ostracized, or “Austro-cized,”
up to the present. There are writer-colleagues who still
refuse to speak to me on account of it, and some more
favorably inclined, claim that I aimed at the wrong target.
Recent events have not brought about a change in attitude.
the powers-that-be had taken heed of the warning contained in Da-Da, instead of doing their best to cancel me out as a writer,
many members of the Commune, especially those abused as
children, would not have suffered permanent damage.
Menschenrecht (Human Rights) of
September of 1992, I wrote: “But there’s no reason for
concern. Incarceration does not necessarily mean the end of an
artist’s career. Having been on the wrong side of the law
can serve as carte blanche for the future.”
in 1998 Martin Humer, the “porno hunter,” splashed red
paint on a painting by Otto Mühl, which was part of an
exhibit in the Vienna Secession titled “The Century of
Artistic Freedom.” In the painting, Mühl, Cardinal Hans
Hermann Groer, Mother Teresa and Bishop Kurt Krenn, Humer’s
friend and a defender of Groer, are depicted in pornographic
poses in comic strip manner. The only thing missing are the
dialogue bubbles. It should be added that Groer is alleged to
have sexually abused boys under his care. Humer goes about comparing the Third Reich favorably with the present.
After the Humer “action,” the value of the Mühl painting
increased. Thus, two “defacers” served each other’s
Mühl: “I am the apocalypse. I take the route of
he was! I quote the headline from Der Standard of
December 5th, 2001: “The Body, Actionism and Fascism. A
French and Austrian exchange of ideas took place in the Louvre
on the occasion of the show ‘Painting as a Crime’
concerning everyday fascism and to the resistance potential of
art. Otto Mühl appeared as a guest star to reap programmed
is a diligent worker and a good assembly-line artist. He and
his ilk are the darlings of museum directors. Today the
financial aspect in the arts outweighs all others.
Weibel is the cardinal ideologist of the Austrian art scene
and a brilliant strategist. During a
conversation I had with him in 1968, he stated, “Art can no
longer be produced.” He named Andy Warhol as the guru of the
Austrian movement and categorized Warhol’s work as non-art,
which was the path of the future.
Weibel and his colleagues of the Vienna Group and the Viennese
Actionists shared the same approach. They were united in
adding then element of violence to what they considered to be
non-art. They are the original innovators and their influence
had reverberations on the international art scene, and has
become dominant over the years. Art and humanistic values have
been purged and replaced by non-art and a commitment to
practicing cruelty toward man and beast.
has dedicated his life to purging aestheticism and humanism
from art, in other words, destroying the very essence of art,
and thus art itself. His thesis is presented in an essay titled “Concerning the Possibility of Non-Affirmative
is being purged of art. Literature is being purged of
literature. Culture re is being purged of culture.
there’s money to be made. In the present setup, the most
bankrupt artists have the biggest bank accounts.
could say that “minimalism” is prevalent. The aim is to
make the most perfect zero, and indeed there are many that
Nitsch: “I have been everything. I was Napoleon, I was
Christ, I was Nietzsche, I was Schopenhauer, and I will be
everything that is to come.“
the “truth” is twisted to fit the occasion.
is a quote from Profil: "Nitsch, who
never slaughtered an animal in his life is constantly referred
to as a slaughterer."
“I wouldn’t do anything that would harm a hair on an
And “Mühl’s specialty is minors and sex and my specialty
is the agonizing torture of animals.”
a quote from the Arbeiter-Zeitung:
“During a Black Mass the Viennese actionist Günter Brus,
36, his wife Anni, 31, Hermann Nitsch, 36, add Karl Heinz
Cibulka slaughtered an Easter lamb in Naples, crucified the
animal and smeared themselves with its blood.”
Weibel in Der Standard:
“Nitsch appeared wearing the vestments that that a priest
uses for the Mass. (Hanel) Koeck, among other things, was
bound to a cross and a dildo was placed in her vagina. Then
Koeck placed it in Nitsch's mouth. A lacerated sheep, the
blood-soaked innards of a hare and an ox were brought into
analogy with the woman's body. Then Nitsch copulated
symbolically with Koeck with the aid of the dildo.”
a quote by Nitsch: “What a wonderful cock Rudi
(Schwarzkogler) had. Why didn't he bequeath his body to me? It
was wasted when Brother Rudi was buried by Monsignor Mauer.”
(Rudolf Schwarzkogler committed suicide in 1969 as the final
“action.” It is alleged that he cut off his penis before
commemorative exhibit for Schwarzkogler was presented at St.
Stephan’s Gallery by Otto Mauer. The poster showed a man
with his eyes covered by a bloodstained white blindfold. Thus,
his death was presented as a Showbiz event.
crony Christian Ludwig Attersee concerning his slaughterhouse
spectacles in Prinzersdorf: “A combination of Gypsy Baron
his ”6-Day Feast” and
The Conquest of Jerusalem, Nitsch describes the laceration
and desecration of women's and children's bodies.
to Peter Huemer: “I wanted to write a drama that could
indeed be performed....I do not regret a single word that I
wrote in this drama....There is an ideal partitur and I would
like to come close to the ideal partitur, and this will be my
first attempt to come close the ideal partitur for the
is a quotation from the Partitur:
“A 7-year old boy is nailed to the wall as if crucified. His
head is beaten and shattered with rectangular stones, his
bloody brains come out. The bloody brain is rinsed and washed
with lukewarm sugar-water.”
those with no knowledge of the significance of ritual and
corporeality in art and who have no desire for even a partial
understanding can construe the use of religious objects as
desecration and the willful violation of religious
feelings.” Dr. Rudolf Scholten, former Austrian Minister of
key quotation by Nitsch: “I no longer intend to place a
humane corset on my work.”
intoxication created by the blood and the ripping apart of raw
flesh should be satisfying and enjoyable since it relieves man
of his suppressed desires....Killing was, and is, beyond all
“If possible I would prefer to work with human beings, with
dead human beings, with corpses to be specific.”
“I could well envision that murder could be a component
of a work of art; the artist’s accountability would have
another status.…Thus, art can consist of a crime.”
According to a reliable source, he stated his intention of peeling the
skin from children's corpses as an "action.” (This
makes lampshades come to mind.)
July 30, 1998 a TV interview with Hermann Nitsch was
broadcast. On August 4th the following letter to
the editor was published in the Kronenzeitung,
Austria’s largest-selling tabloid. The author is Lore
Jarosch, biographer of Hans Dichand, the paper’s publisher.
Herr Chancellor, if your daughter were to be placed on a stage
with shaven head and have her sex organ penetrated under the
direction of Herr Nitsch, I would like to know whether you
would still speak about ’the freedom of art.’”
would like to insert here that I have published numerous
polemics critical of the right-wing editorial policy of this
it was stated that the girl was to be penetrated by a wooden
penis at a private action. This was to occur with the consent
of her parents and that she had previously taken part in such
Brus: „Hermann Nitsch stated in an interview on a German
channel that we were all guilty of having committed
transgressions, but they caught Mühl at it, and now he has to
atone for all of us.”
are many indications that pedophilia and child abuse are
continuing to be systematically
practiced in artistic conclaves, but so far no Austrian
journalist has been willing to research the matter.
Brus was awarded the Grand Austrian State for Art in 1997; his
graphic specialties include a women pierced by wires
and a smiling child being penetrated by a horse. The latter is
included in a Dorotheum Auction House catalogue.
In 1993 the prize-winner-to-be stated in an interview in the Kurier
with Karin Kathrein: “I never ate excrement.” In Wien,
a book by Peter Weibel and Valie Export documenting and
glorifying actionism, there are photographs of Brus doing just
that. (Yes, the Austrian
Cultural-Cult-Stars occasionally do a bit of fibbing.) This
book is a veritable treasure trove. The Austrian cultural
elite can be admired therein in
flagranti amid blood, urine and feces.
an exhibit of work by the Viennese Group in 1998, photo
collages mocking infants born with gross physical defects were
displayed. In one of the collages, a photo of an infant girl
with spread legs is shown with a graphic of an erect penis
next to it.
it be Nitsch’s “6-Day Feast,” whether it be the work of
the Viennese Group in the Biannual Catalogue that been
defamed as child pornography….We guarantee Nitsch the protection of the state for
practicing his profession freely."
Dr. Peter Wittmann, Austrian
State Secretary for Culture
is an interesting and fascinating human being. I could
converse with him at hour’s length. I admire his spirit and
acuteness.” Bishop Kurt Krenn of St. Pölten.
has gone through process a development and has returned to a
normal pattern of behavior. I was irritated by his
anti-religious effects and his actionism. I think his artistic
productions are great.” Dr. Jörg Haider, chief of the
right-wing Freedom Party.
by attacking the actionists, has made them sacrosanct. Is this
an about face?)
admired Nitsch before it was incontestable for a politician.
Now that he had directed for the (State) Opera, implacable
condemnation has turned into reverence. Apparently everything
changes when one works for a reputed house.” Dr. Franz
Vranitzky, former Austrian Chancellor.
Hermann Nitsch debate has been truncated long ago like the
Thomas Bernhard debate, the (Peter) Turrini debate, the Valie
Export debate, and I hope the (Claus) Peymann debate. Viennese
actionism can no
longer be the basis for dispute in a civilized state; it
has been canonized
for quite some time and has found its place in museums. Today
anyone who opposes actionism
simply disqualifies himself.” Sigrid Löffler, star
an additional sample of cultural competence: I quote from a
Brockhaus Encyclopedia add: “He who knows much wants to know
And: “I never studied at all. I set eyes on a university
lecture room for the first time in my life when I entered it
as a professor to give a lecture.”
Marcel Reich Ranicki, star literary critic.)
have no enemies. Anyone who doesn’t love me is a
have learned from Hermann Nitsch. We have begun to understand
him....Now we think more profoundly. Only
the adherents of National Socialism do
not understand him.” Alfred Worm, editor-in-chief of News.
I included in that category? I reject Nitsch because
I understand him.
In a totalitarian society art stands beyond
criticism. Conformity in the arts means that the game is up.
National Socialists degraded, humiliated, tortured and
murdered humans. The actionists degrade, humiliate and abuse
themselves and others. They kill animals as an ersatz. The
Nazis desecrated religious cult objects as do the actionists.
The cross has replaced the Star of David. Hermann Nitsch has
repeatedly expressed his wish to substitute human cadavers for
animals in his actionist performances. That means we have
almost come full swing.
Wiener: “It was not easy to drink my urine and eat my
feces....Long before actionism, (Gerhard) Rühm and (Konrad)
Bayer wrote: ‘Defecation and urination are art.’”
and soil” was the basis Nazi art. This has given way to
“blood and feces.”
Blood and fecal art is an excrescence of the Third
man who was to become one of Austria’s foremost cultural
functionaries showed his disdain for humanity during the war
in Vietnam. He and his cohorts masturbated at an exhibition of
photos of injured Vietnamese children. These events are always
interpreted, but they do not need an interpretation as far as
I am concerned.
is a description by Peter Weibel, who participated in the
“action” at the University of Vienna on June 7, 1968:
“Brus began taking his clothes off, then he climbed onto the
podium naked and sang the National Anthem while defecating and
masturbating....Then a genuine masochist, whose identity was
known to us but not the public, appeared wearing a mask and a
bathrobe. He was subsequently whipped (bloody) by Mühl.”
would like to interject some comparisons.
was an incredible witch hunt (After the University Action of
1968). Imagine, in a democracy! Think of what it must have
been like for Jews in the past under the fascist system, when
in a democracy, people refuse to associate with you and to
shake your hand.” Cultural
a Jew. Spiritually.” Otto Mühl.
the Freedom Party, are treated the way Jews were previously
treated. We are the Palestinians of Austria.” Dr. Jörg
Haider, Freedom Party chief.
criticism of Hermann Nitsch: “What is now happening is a
linguistic Rostock, which is paving the way for a pogrom
atmosphere.” Dr. Rudolf Scholten, former Austrian Minister
(In Rostock in 1992, after the reunification of Germany,
neo-Nazis set fire to a building filled with refugees to the
applause of bystanders).
the spring of 1995, an official Austrian exhibit commemorating
prominent Austrians who were forced to emigrate was shown at
565 Fifth Avenue in New York. The organizer of the exhibit and
co-editor of the accompanying book, The Cultural Exodus from Vienna
is Peter Weibel, who is also co-editor of the
Among the highlights of the latter scholarly work are photos
of co-editor Export engaging in fellatio with Weibel. Also
featured is the depiction of an event in Cologne organized by
Weibel and Export in which bullwhips, coils of barbed wire,
beer bottles and ether were used to injure actionists and
members of the audience.
One of the most revolting aspects of the book is the
juxtapositioning of documentary photos of murdered
children with photos of Hermann Nitsch actions with
Thus, infanticide too is
part of Show Biz. Nitsch: “Killing was and is beyond all
and Anni Brus do not share his view: “Art is free or should
be free. The artist, however, has the same ethical and social
obligations as any member of society and should be held
responsible for his actions in the same way.“
is a key statement by Peter Weibel: "If we don’t
prosper, the world will be blown up.”
by Weibel: ”The true heroes of freedom are those who commit
crimes run amuck and assassinate. It is only possible for man
to realize himself by running amuck, by murder and by
assassination….I would be glad if I had the strength to act
like the assassins and those who run amuck. These are
exceptional human achievements for me.”
is a “solution” for a political problem provided by writer
Gerhard Roth: “When democracy is endangered, it is
legitimate to consider assassination.”
Roth to Peter Huemer: ”Hitler grew out of a democratic state
and was elected.... Must we wait until there is such a
development, until there is a totalitarian situation, before
Dutch advocate of this “solution” applied it to right-wing
politician Pim Fortuyn in 2002.)
exposed: “Take your cock out! Exhibitionists to the
fore!....We will beat citizens until they become human
is self-evident that an article by Richard Nimmerrichter,
alias “Staberl” (Pointer), star-columnist of the Kronen-Zeitung,
an Austrian tabloid not known to favor liberal causes,
appeared on the subject of the exhibit. Weibel’s
participation was a great windfall for Staberl and he used it
to serve his purposes.
and his ilk are the other side of the coin.
my view, the good work of the scholars who contributed to the
book and exhibit has been deprecated and the exiled notables
have been compromised rather than commemorated by the
participation of "Cultural Commissar" Weibel. My
inclusion occurred without my knowledge.
Those who have been victims of barbarism can only be
honored by the foes of barbarism. Moral force is the requisite
for fighting inhumanity.
July from July to October of 1997, an exhibit called Masks:
Approaching the Shoah was shown at the Jewish Museum of
Vienna. The death masks exhibited and matching skulls were
used by the Nazis us to show that the facial features and head
form of murdered concentration camp inmates “illustrated”
inferiority. The masks and skulls were discovered by Patricia
Steines in 1991 in cartons located in the attic of the Museum
of Natural History in Vienna. The skulls were subsequently
buried by the Jewish Community Center.
order to add a bit of color to the exhibit, Valie Export, née
Waltraud Höllinger, and Elfriede Jelinek were invited to
participate and comment on the exhibition. Cameras were hidden
behind some of the masks and every visitor can see himself
viewing the masks on a TV monitor located in an adjacent room.
This voyeuristic element has the earmarks of a Valie Export
to Masks: Approaching
the Shoah, an exhibit opened in the Viennese Literature
House titled Elfriede Jelinek: Echoes and Masks. The latter is a multimedia
monomaniacal spectacle which includes a TV monitor at the
bottom of a well. The Jelinek invitation was included in the
Museum's mailing packet.
Valie Export was invited to submit a design for the monument
on Judenplatz some years ago, she has had thoughts about the
(Valie Exports anti-fascistic monument in Allentsteig was
unveiled on August 28, 1999.) She may be able to contribute a
valid analysis since violence plays a primary role in her
work. From an article in the Standard about an exhibit
Insights Into Split-Open Bodies:
“Gina Pane and Valie Export injure themselves with razor
And a brilliant exegesis! “Export’s poetic-sharp
installation of compulsive performances is among the reflexive
anomalies in part two in which the fascination for bodily
orifices obsessively-provocatively evolves into the focal
women are liberated by being degraded and humiliated.
degradation and humiliation of women is the aim of all brutal
Occurs In Every Pornographic Work
is the title of a Profil
interview with Elfriede Jelinek.
Profil: “The most
cruel occurrence that you have invented in order to describe
your hatred was self-inflicted.”
“I didn't invent that.”
Profil: “The woman
cuts her vagina with a razor blade.”
“I really did that.”
a political point of view: Profil:
“Can you explain why you became a communist?”
“I believe that man is evil; that is my gospel, and I believe that he must be controlled, otherwise he'll behave like a
is a literary quotation: “I don't mitigate anything, I give
you the coup de grâce, stay on your feet for a minute so that
I can kick you in the stomach, take a seat, Sandy will kick
you in the balls in a minute after Judy bites your throat,
you'll be even more tired, do you want to be stabbed in the
kidney or the stomach?...” etc.
an excerpt from a review by Wolfgang Reiter of Das
Sportstück (The Sport Play) by Elfriede Jelinek:
“Martin Brambach in the role of “the victim” was
genuinely so badly beaten at the premiere that he had use
crutches for the following performances.”
1973 the news media reported that Valie Export had poured
boiling wax over live birds. Recently Export has claimed that
the birds were dead before she poured the wax over them. Art critic Kristian
Sotriffer “confirms” this: “The birds were of course not
‘preserved’ in wax while they were alive .…The report in
the yellow press was fictitious and was designed to cause an
uproar among petit bourgeois readers.”
1977 Valie Export was brought to trial for having engaged in
cruelty to animals and found guilty of having tied a canary to
a perch. However the scalding of the birds with boiling wax,
which had been filmed, came under the statute of limitations.
This “art object” was on view as part of the Export
Exhibition, introduced by Jelinek, in the Museum of the
Twentieth Century in Vienna in March of 1997. On March 17,
1997, in Treffpunkt
Kultur, a program devoted to culture on ORF, Austrian
State TV, films by Export were broadcast. In one scene Export
uses a bloody kitchen knife to slice the neck of a turtle, a
mouse and a parrot, but the actual decapitations are deleted
by film cutting.
the Third Reich children were taught to kill birds in a camp
which translates as “Children’s Land.”)
This was not a game and it should not be made into a
must interject that the victims of the Shoah, including
members of my family, did not engage in sadomasochistic games.
They were simply rounded up and transported to the killing
and describing violence in art and literature is legitimate as
a means of opposing violence. But advocating and glorifying violence must be placed in
question, to put it mildly. Injuring and degrading oneself or
others in public for a thrill is reprehensible. However, it is
certain that there is more to this than meets the eye, and a
thorough investigation is called for.
not everyone favors delving. In the early Nineties, 700
Austrian notables signed a manifesto, attempting to shield
convicted murderer and promoted writer Jack Unterweger from
being investigated for additional homicide.
systematic sexual abuse of children has been juristically
confirmed, and it is continuing to take place. The wanton laceration and slaying of
defenseless animals is criminal, and when animals "serve
as surrogates," the use of surrogates is transitional.
The aims have been clearly stated and I take them at face
On July 30, 1998, an actionist declared in a TV interview that an
11-year old girl would be penetrated by a wooden penis at a
forthcoming private action.
in 1973 one Mühl-Commune
member attempted to substitute the original for the
“surrogate” by mailing letter bombs.
are always a prelude to deeds.
the history of mankind, those who have declared pernicious
aims have invariably attempted to realize them after gaining
power and influence.
crimes of the Third Reich are unparalleled. However drawing
parallels between those who practice and advocate inhumanity
is legitimate and unavoidable. Actionism is an outgrowth of
National Socialism. Actionists and revisionists are not really
at odds, but merely in competition. That is the best way for
them to serve each other's interests. They were spawned by the
of art in Austria means unlimited freedom for some, and the
drastic limitation of the freedom of others.
who engage in inhumane actions under the guise of art enjoy
artistic freedom, but an artist who opposes these practices is
simply declared fair game. The cultural powers-that-be and
their underlings are masters in the art of repression. Their
spiritual cruelty and brutality knows no bounds.
cultural set-up is a dictatorship with a democratic structure.
The earmarks are mediocrity, opportunism, sophism and fellow
traveling. Cultural unity signifies the end.
has always been a bastion against the dark forces. Now the
dark forces are taking over the arts.
has always represented the truth over the lie. Now it is
becoming a medium for propagating the lie.
is erroneously referred to as “modern art” is in reality
mob-art. Mob-art cancels modern art out.
the power and money in the world can’t turn the truth into a
lie and vice-versa.
here's the coda by object-artist Padhi Frieberger: “The
Nazis attempted to destroy art from the outside. Those who
practice destruction today have taken over on the inside and
are destroying art from within.”
© Herbert Kuhner, 2004.
Segments of this article appeared in Das Menschenrecht (Human Rights), No. 3, Sept. 1992; Nos. 1-4, Dec.
1996; No. 3, Sept. 1997, Vienna; Der
Bund, No. 145, March, 1996, Vienna; Log,
No. 74, 1996, Vienna.
Views expressed concerning violence in the arts in Austria brought about
repercussions described in four articles in Index on Censorship, London (1976, Vol. 2, No. 5:
1976, Vol. 5, No. 2; 1976, Vol. 5; No. 4; 1992, Vol.
21, No. 1.)
Kuhner, poet, novelist, playwright and translator, has written
extensively on the aftermath of the Shoah. He is co-editor and
translator of Austrian
Poetry Today (Schocken Books). He was born in Austria in
1935, emigrated to Britain and then the United States, where
he was brought up and educated. He has been residing in Vienna
Prof. Herbert Kuhner
01/ 479 24 69
decades ago, Herbert Kuhner published a literary satire on
actionism, Da-Da Ga-Ga
Ca-Ca, which should have served as a warning for the
future and resulted in repercussions that have lasted until
the present. Had the powers-that-be taken heed of the satire,
the children who suffered corporal and sexual abuse in Otto Mühl's
AAO-Commune would have been spared much suffering and damage.
Contexts for Post-War Austrian Art
Art was a simple and sterile depiction of mother earth and the
fatherland. The true sado-masochistic, anti-humanist and
murderous elements of the movement were missing in its art.
Actionist art or "non-art" or "anti-art"
has provided what was missing. Actionism does not only depict
violence and cruelty, it presents it to the public. The
actionists degrade and flay humans and they torment animals
and kill them as an ersatz, by their own admission. The
editors will draw parallels between National Socialism and
actionism, and show that the latter is an outgrowth of the
above served as the original concept for a symposium that took
place in Vienna in May 2003, which bore the title:
From Romanticism to
Irrationalism und Antihumanism in Modern Art
Kuhner, the initiator of the symposium, was excluded from
participation by Dr. Michael Ley, one of the three organizers,
and replaced with Leander Kaiser. Dr. Helmuth Kohlenberger,
the other organizer, stayed neutral and participated.
A had a theme,
B had also dealt with,
he said let’s take it on together!
B came in
C be added to the team,
A said okay
had assented to what would become
C brought D in
be his right hand man,
B in the process,
taking whole thing over,
A the heave-ho
slamming the door shut after him.
Quotation by Monsignor Otto Mauer, after
the Third Reich: "The Jews have immense influence on
communism and capitalism. They pass themselves off as
defenders of humanity...but they are nothing but a depraved
people with a perverted spirit....They have been condemned to
eternal damnation....They invariably choose the evil
by Otto Mauer
by Herbert Kuhner
the Archbishop’s Palace, Vienna
the occasion of the commemoration
Discoverer and Promoter of the
Avant-garde after 1945“
Filmed by Fritz Kleibel, Title: “Harry’s
Herrenberg, May 20, 2003
the Social-Democratic Party of Austria
Mühl. “My Life as a Work of Art“
for December of 2003
the Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna
(Presented March 3, 2004)
contend that all democratic parties should agree that
pedophile crimes should not be represented as works of art.
This admission of the Austrian Social Democratic Party is
essential since of children and juveniles, who still suffer
today as a result of Mühl’s grave crimes.…The political
support – particularly permission to establish a private
school (in the Mühl Commune) – led to an even greater
insulation of the children and young people….If the children
had attended a public schools, some would presumably have
confided in teachers and thus would have been spared much
Herrenberg, May 20, 2003
Open Letter (excerpts)
Director of the Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna
and the Curator of the planned Otto Mühl Exhibit
Frau Bettina Busse
favor freedom of art, however, but I oppose the abuse
of human rights, and in the case of (Otto) Mühl, specifically
the egregious violation of rights of children.
Otto Mühl established a system in the Commune centered on his
person. He used his power to give vent to his violent
fantasies and his pedophile proclivities and thus injuring the
children and juveniles under his aegis.
are samples of Otto Mühl’s aberrations, transgressions and
crimes. Herr Mühl advocated racial theories (Propagation of
“genetically” superior individuals – primarily Mühl
himself), which is reminiscent of recent history Pregnancies
of had to be "approved" by a board, over which Herr
Mühl presided. "Unapproved" pregnancies had to be
control group around Mühl and selected members consumed soft
and hard drugs to a great extent. Juveniles were also given to
These key samples demonstrate that the Mühl Commune was an
authoritarian system, in which we were “imprisoned.” We
adult Commune members bear responsibility for our decision to
live in the in the Commune, although many of us joined at a
very young age.
However the children and juveniles of the Commune had no
choice but to live in the Commune. Herr Mühl committed the
most grievous transgressions and crimes towards them.
Mühl abused many children and juveniles emotionally and
sexually in a humiliating manner, both emotionally and
sexually. A good number of these children and juveniles still
suffer intensely as a result of these traumatic experiences.
What should these young people think, when the criminal
behavior of the individual who abused and raped them is
presented as “My Life as a Work of Art” in a major
Herr Mühl bears responsibility for the most heinous abuse
that children, juveniles and adults experienced at his hands,
as well as for the spiritual suffering that resulted.
Andreas Schlothauer: Die Diktatur der freien Sexualität: AOO, Mühl-Kommune, Friedrichshof,
Verlag für Gesellschaftskritik; Vienna, 1992, p. 139.
“Die Tage der Kommune,“ Dokumentation von Elisabeth
Scharang, ORF (Austrian TV) Feb. 11, 1998, quotation by
Robert Sedlacek, Bruno Kreisky's secretary from 1980-1983.
Ibid., quotation by Karl Iro.
Andreas Schlothauer: Die Diktatur der freien Sexualität, p. 139-141.
Josef Dvorak: “Die Faschisten von heute: Antwort an
Hermann Nitsch,“ Neues
Forum, No. 246, June 1974, Vienna, p. 44; Otto Mühl,
ZOCK, Aspekte einer Totalrevolution 66/71 Munich, 1971;
Supervisuel 6, „Otto Mühl will Menschen schlachten,“
Andreas Schlothauer: Die Diktatur der freien Sexualität
Conference “Concerning Otto Mühl und Crime as a Work of
Art,” Inditement by Former Members of the Commune at
Friedrichshof , Union of Foreign Correspondents ,
Vienna, Café Landtmann,
Jürgen Kremb: „Opfer der
Kommine“ Der Spiegel, No. 10, March 1, 2004, p.
Manfred Seeh: Mühl-Kommune: “Rund 18 Millionen
Schilling 'Schweigegeld' an Zeugen,“ Die
Presse, Vienna, Feb. 10, 1998, p. 10.
Gerhard Jaschke, Ed.: Reizwort Nitsch, Sonderzahl, Vienna, 1995, S. 20, Einen Spaß, from Profil,
Gerhard Jaschke, Ed.: Das Rote Tuch: Der Mensch das unappetitliche Vieh, Edition Freibord,
Vienna, 1988, p.116, Blut Aktion gestoppt, from T. Z .Munich, Sept.
Peter Weibel, Valie Export, eds.: Wien:
Bildkompendium Wiener Aktionismus und Film, Kohlkunst Verlag,
Frankfurt, 1970, p. 72-73.
Friedrich Stadler, Peter Weibel: Vertreibung
der Vernunft/The Cultural Exodus from Austria,
Springer Verlag, Vienna - New York, 1995.
Peter Weibel, Valie Export, eds.: Wien:
Bildkompendium Wiener Aktionismus und Film, Kohlkunst
Verlag, Frankfurt, 1970, p.233 & 237.
Klaus Tieber: Die
letzten von Gestern: Die Rechten in der Kunst, Picus
Verlag, Vienna, 1996, p. 25; Der
Standard, May 3, 1995,
“Staberl“ (Richard Nimmerrichter): “Installationen
aus dem Naziland,“ Neue
Kronen-Zeitung, June 4, 1995, Vienna, p. 8.
André Müller: “Das Kommt in jedem Porno vor“,
interview with Elfriede Jelinek, Profil,
Nos. 26/25 June 1990, Vienna, p. 80-82.
Excerpt from Elfriede Jelinek: wir
sind lockvögel, baby, published in Die
1, Sept. 1972, Vienna, p. 4-5.
Roswitha Mueller: Valie
of the Imagination, Indiana University Press,
Bloomington / Indianapolis, 1994, p. 44.