Günter Brus. Störungszonen | Film zur Ausstellung / Film on the exhibition
The complete title of this picture from 1985 is I Only Drift in Zones of Disturbance. We just took the Zones of Disturbance simply because Günter Brus already in 1965 for the first time experienced moving in a zone of disturbance, that is when he walked through Vienna in the famous Vienna Stroll, and for the first time carried out an action in public. He was fully dressed wearing a suit and shoes. The unusual thing about his appearance was that he was painted from head to toe in white and a black line divided his body and his head into two parts. This was, as it were, the first zone of disturbance in which he moved. He then carried out the action Utter Madness in Aachen, for example, he then appeared in the famous performance Art is Revolution and he defecated, urinated, drank his urine, sang the Austrian national anthem and masturbated to it. With his actionist works, he really upset, destroyed, perturbed people or indeed the entire society, and this is something, I think, that remained in his later life’s work. It is no longer as spectacular, the actions decrease in number, but in his drawings he always tears apart the world and the images that we know and the peace that we really would like to have; he he shows fragmented people, he shows landscapes that have been destroyed, he is a disturber, a disturber of the peace in the true sense of the word. In this exhibition, we see Brus in his entirety. This also includes a work series that has the title Il Croce del Veneto. Vienna is a very Catholic city. Italy is also very Catholic. It was important to him that here in Italy he simply created a cycle that represents that, for of course for popes, for priests sexuality was always an issue. He takes the miter, which is something very important and a symbol of Catholicism as well, and paints a vagina on it. I think that when you work as extremely as Brus does then you have, you need that as well, the other side, otherwise you would go mad. He needed this sense of humor to be able to continue working. We both needed it. I think that humor for him, as becomes clear in the texts especially, is the reason we like to deal with him. If one just walks around angrily and finds everything horrible, that gets boring. In his work, it is the funny aspect, the thing that makes you laugh behind which the horrible is concealed. Günter Brus is the artist that developed picture-poems. The picture can only exist with the writing, the writing can only exist with the picture. One of the famous early examples is his large pictorial poem on Franz Schreker, Die Gezeichneten (The Branded), this is a work where he wrote out the libretto by hand. In actionist inspirations, something emerges. I know that I often walked through the streets and had no paper with me and so I took posters that could be torn down or sheets and with these I would go into a bar and I had to write at that moment. When you deal with Günter Brus you are confronted by a mountain of works: it’s an enormous oeuvre. This is why I subjected this exhibition to a certain rigor, I selected rigorously and kept the installation very rigorous. For me, it was important to understand how this work emerged and and this is way this self-portrait, this self-painting, it begins with the self-painting, and then at some point we arrive at the self-portraits, then we see the entire range of his possibilities, his inspirations, his acts, and his work.