From 25 October 1985 to 01 December 1985
This exhibition presented paintings, drawings and sculptures by five contemporary artists belonging to the Viennese Actionism movement, which articulated itself through group actions and individual public works marked by a radical aesthetic in which the body assumes a central role. Highly controversial and violently criticised at the time, the movement is now recognised as an integral part of the contemporary art debate.
The title of the exhibition refers to a road in Vienna that runs eastwards, and is intended to underline the fact that Europe’s richness stems from its cultural diversity. The symbolic, baroque universe created by Christian Ludwig Attersee (Pressburg, Germany, 1940) is compared with the work of Günter Brus (Arnding, Austria, 1938), whose actions – in which he paints his own body with “sutures” in galleries and public spaces – are documented in photographs and drawings. Hermann Nitsch’s (Vienna, Austria, 1938) pursuit of a new, complete art form gave birth to the Orgien Mysterien Theater (Teatro of Orgies and Mysteries) in which he officiates in ritual sacrifice, while Arnulf Rainer (Baden, Austria, 1929) transforms photographs by painting, drawing, tearing and scratching at them with his fingers so as to render the original, authentic image strange and unrecognisable. Walter Pichler (Nova Ponente, Bolzano, 1936) makes enigmatic, glacial sculptures that evoke a cruel, imaginary dream world.