Shows & Exhibitions
Austrian Ambassador in Mexico Supports Hermann Nitsch over Museo Jumex Cancellation
Austrian Ambassador in Mexico contacted the press following the cancelation of Hermann Nitsch’s exhibition at Museo Jumex in Mexico City, due to animal rights protests (see Museo Jumex Cancels Hermann Nitsch Show Over Animal Rights Protest).
Dr. Eva Hager offers her unequivocal support to Nitsch, and describes the Viennese Actionist as “one of Austria’s most important contemporary artists.”
“A number of critiques mention the alleged blasphemous nature of [Nitsch’s] works and the abuse of animals,” she writes. “Killing animals has been, and still is, an integral aspect of human life. However, animals have the right to be respected as sentient beings, and the act of killing them must be done without inflicting suffering, and thoroughly supporting and abiding by the current animal protection laws. It could be considered that the industrial slaughter of animals to be consumed contradicts this very principle. In Nitsch’s oeuvre, ritual and sacrifice represent concepts deeply ingrained in the human consciousness. They relate to a time in which animals were perceived and respected as living beings.”
Hager argues that Nitsch’s work, in fact, criticizes the lack of respect towards animals prevalent in contemporary society: “Nitsch’s oeuvre critiques precisely the industrial use of animals for public consumption, as well as the attitude of a society that considers animal products as disposable.”
Crucially, Hager goes on to highlight that Nitsch only employs animal parts sourced from butcher shops, and not specifically killed for his actions. She points out that the last real sacrifice that Nitsch staged took place in 1998, and was carried out by a professional butcher with the supervision of a veterinary.
Follow Artnet News on Facebook:
Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.