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Beuschel decorated bars: a visit to the New Work Museum in Vienna

Beuschel decorated bars: a visit to the New Work Museum in Vienna

Austria's most radical artistic movement has its own house

Julia Moebus-Bock, Director of the Movement Museum in Vienna, and Eva Badura-Tresca in front of Rudolf Schwarzkogler (Photo: Manuel Carrión López)

A naked woman's buttocks, filled with fine, colored powder, extends toward the viewer. A tube hanging between the buttocks. And the man whose head appears between the unclean’s legs also has something rubbery like that in his mouth. What does this scenario represent? Rectal and oral pipeline? Or even a symbolic umbilical cord?

In front of these violent images in Vienna's new Museum of the Movement (WAM), it is difficult to focus on the interview. What Otto Muhl showed in 1966 and was so uniformly captured by photographer Ludwig Hoffenreich is still disturbing even if you've already seen dozens of these images.

“It's incredible how much the activists achieved between 1960 and 1970,” says Eva Badura-Tresca enthusiastically. The art historian has designed exhibitions at MOMOK on postwar avant-gardists such as Günter Pruss, Otto Muhl, Hermann Nitsch, and Rudolf Schwarzkogler. Five years after her retirement, the curator, in collaboration with WAM agency director Julia Mobus-Buck, is now able to tap into a huge stock.

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