Bloody Man:by Eugene Gorny
The Ritual Art of Hermann Nitsch
From this outward description let us try to comprehend the inner meaning of what is going on.
Firstly, we can see very strict organisation of theritual. The same set of elements is reproduced; the roles of participants and spectators are rigidly determined; an opportunity of improvisation is reduced to a minimum. Properly speaking, there is only one person who develops any creative activity - Nitsch himself. The others merely realize his scenario or passively observe what's going on.
That is, of course, what differs Nitsch's performance from the ancient mysteries where there could not be spectators at all. There all were actors and creators atthe same time. In the course of an ecstatic co-action everybody "transcended himself" and entered into communion with a high mystery of the being and of the self. What mysteries do Nitsch's performance lead to? And how are they connected with 'wounds'?
Nitsch plays with the symbolism of Christian ritual. Communion with real blood and real flesh means, of course, a desymbolization of the Eucharist. In this sense he acts as a consistent Protestant reaching the last limits of iconoclasm. On the other hand, this desymbolisation can be perceived as a negation of the transcendental, spiritual significance of the Eucharist. "Blood is only blood and this is the only reality of existence". Such a belief, from the Christian point of view, is undoubtedly a satanic perversion of truth.
If desymbolized blood and flesh are considered to be alpha and omega of the human nature, there remains no room for a faith in the immortal soul. For through blood, whichg ives equal right to active violence and passive suffering and also justifies all kinds of perverted sexuality, human beings communicate not with transcendental reality but with the animal's world of instincts. Read the entire articleSource: