Controversial Austrian painter Otto Muehl has died in Portugal, aged 87. Muehl was co-founder of the Viennese Actionist movement, notorious for bloody and violent work – often incorporating viscera and the human body – that intended to shock audiences out of a state of complacency. The Actionists’s work was so extreme in fact, that during the 1960s Muehl and his counterparts (including Guenter Brus, Hermann Nitsch and Rudolf Schwarzkogler) all spent time in prison for violating decency laws. Muehl’s personal life was equally excessive. In the 1970s he established the Friedrichshof Commune just outside of Vienna, attracting 600 residents at its height. In 1991 Muehl was convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison for drug possession and sex with minors while living there. The commune disbanded soon after.
Above: ‘Mama und Papa’ (1964), by Otto Muehl and Kurt Kren.
Posted in Art, Artists, Painting, Performance, Video
Tagged Burgenland, Friedrichshof Commune, Guenter Brus, Hermann Nitsch, Kurt Kren, Mama und Papa 1964, Otto Muehl, Rudolf Schwarzkogler, Viennese Actionism
Internet sensation Hennessy Youngman
Remember Hennessy Youngman (a.k.a Jayson Musson), creator of the episodic internet show Art Thoughtz? You know - the guy who called Damien Hirst a tw*t…? He’s been pretty quiet on the YouTube monologue front of late but has turned his hand to DJing, releasing playlists under the moniker CV Bangers. Youngman describes the mixes as “…audioscape(s) for when you’re buying tampons or a 12 pack of condoms, a sampling of those magic tunes that play when you’re contemplating how ridiculous you would look carrying 24 rolls of toilet paper on the train…”
So if you’re interested in listening to a playlist that sounds like “commerce itself” click on the Soundcloud link above. (And included in the latest installment is a LOL fave; the Toto classic you see below. So very smooth).
Felicity Why, from the series ‘Feminesis’, 2012
Earlier this year Ai Weiwei announced that he was making a heavy metal album in response to his 2011 detention. It’s now been released, along with a music video for the album’s first single, ‘Dumbass’. The clip directly addresses the artist’s incarceration, and even includes an ‘inch accurate’ portrayal of Ai’s former cell. The artist described the music making process as a form of ‘self therapy’, though judging from the outcome it might have been a process best conducted in private. The whole thing is, frankly, awful. (It’s pretty questionable on the ‘metal’ front too). Don’t quit your day job Ai!
‘Execution Changes #16 (VS Q1 LMJ DC Q2 RMJ DC)’, 2011
‘Execution Changes #21 (NS Q1 CJ LC)’, 2011
‘Execution Changes #7 (VS Q1 CJ DC Q2 BCJ DC)’, 2011
Opening night of the Auckland Triennial at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki
Anthony Byrt’s take on the 5th Auckland Triennial, If you were to live here, for Artforum’s scene and heard is now online.
This time care of the late Polish artist Wojciech Bruszewski
(via A Sound Awareness).
Alex Wolman, ‘Brief Candle’, performance still
LOL recently visited this year’s iteration of the national graduate show, Hatched, at PICA in Perth. Included in the exhibition was a video of an endurance performance by WA artist Alex Wolman entitled ‘Brief Candle’. In it, Wolman screams relentlessly – for 51 harrowing minutes - until he physically can’t scream any more. In fact, he inadvertently burst a lung in the process.
A link between this work and Marina Abramovic and Ulay’s 1978 performance ‘AAA AAA’ is immediately apparent. Both works are distressing in their positioning of the audience as inherently passive. As viewers we witness subjects in a state of extreme physical distress yet we’re powerless to help them. Wolman’s work in particular has an urgency and rawness to it that makes walking away from ‘Brief Candle’ virtually impossible. Instead, we must bear witness to his horrible struggle, egging him on to the inevitable point of conclusion.
You can watch Alex Wolman’s ’Brief Candle’ here.
Giulia Agostini, from the series ‘Dogs’, n.d.
Grayson Perry arrives at the Baftas
Grayson Perry wore a rather saucy gown to the Bafta TV awards on Sunday. Designed especially for him by Central St Martins student Morgan Levy, the beaded satin number features a rather explicit, ahem, ‘pearl necklace’ (be careful googling that…). Perry was in attendance to receive an award for his three-part Channel 4 documentary series, All in the Best Possible Taste, that explores – you guessed it – modern British taste. It would seem that some British media including the Daily Mail found the cross-dresser’s awards garb supremely distasteful, avoiding the glaringly obvious by describing the gown simply as a ”nude panelled dress”. ‘Tasteful’ or not, LOL reckons he looks fab-u-lous.