Nitsch Retrospektive: Sinne und Sein 2014

The nitsch museum was marking Hermann Nitsch’s 75th birthday with an exhibition entitled “HERMANN NITSCH – SINNE UND SEIN” (SENSE AND BEING). It featured works created over six decades and, for the first time at this facility, an interactive jumbo projection screen designed by the Ars Electronica Futurelab. The show ran from April 7, 2013 to July 31, 2014.


Hermann Nitsch speaks about his work, his approach to new media.


Interactive World of Experience in the Nitsch Museum’s “Chapel”


The 8×4-meter panorama projection in the “Chapel” at the nitsch museum in Mistelbach, Lower Austria opened up totally new insights into the artist’s work. Users could navigate via touchscreen through gigapixel images and explore the most finely rendered details within Hermann Nitsch’s world of imagery, structures inaccessible to the naked eye. The selection of works on display accurately reflected the diversity of this important painter’s artistic creativity. The installation was accompanied by tonal environments that were also composed by the artist. The interplay of visual, tactile and acoustic stimuli engendered a mode of experiencing Nitsch’s work that’s was as novel as it was intense.



The installation venue was the Chapel, a separate building in the courtyard of Nitsch Museum (which is part of the Museum Center Mistelbach (MZM) where a Nitsch retrospective entitled “Süße Lust – Geschichte(n) der Mehlspeise” (Sweet Lust – (Hi)Stories of Pastry) was running simultaneously in another exhibition space.) In the Chapel, the Ars Electronica Futurelab had installed a miniature version of Deep Space, but just because it was small in comparison to the original doesn’t necessarily mean that all they’ve done was hang a tablet on the wall. Measuring 8×4 meters and displaying images up to 38,000 pixels wide, the dimensions were quite impressive here too, especially since the whole space was pretty much dedicated to this installation. On display were four of Nitsch’s works, two of which were reconfigurations never before seen in this form. They were controlled, as in the Ars Electronica Center, via a multi-touch terminal that let users zoom in and discover details that might previously have been unknown to anyone but the artist. Each image had been virtually cut up into thousands of individual pieces; the wealth of detail is impressive.


The artist and his art. Hermann Nitsch talks with Gerfried Stocker about his body of work. Foto: Tom Mesic
The artist and his art. Hermann Nitsch talks with Gerfried Stocker about his body of work. Credit: Tom Mesic


But visual components weren’t all there is to admire. “Concert for 1,000 Fingers,” (Hermann Nitsch/Peter Jan Marthé, „KLAVIER-SINFONIE FÜR 100 PIANISTEN“, Uraufführung: 25. 11. 2012 im „Kulturquartier“ Linz, Ausführende: Pianisten des O.Ö. Musikschulwerks & der Musikuniversität Wien. Dirigent: Peter Jan Marthé) was piped in on specially installed speakers that impart every single decibel of this piece loud and clear. If you went with the flow, the works of art in this setting and the combination of imagery and sound made an even more intense impact, an experience that came close to involving all the senses.

Concept and Idea:

Christoph Lindinger, Horst Hörtner, Gerfried Stocker

Project Management:

Patrick Müller


Benjamin Mayr

Construction and Hardware:

AEC FL, Ton + Bild Medientechnik GmbH