Viennese Actionism is the one of the most radical art movements of the 20th century; it doesn’t lose its continuity even today.  In the early 1960’s the main protagonists of actionism, Günter Brus, Hermann Nitsch, Otto Muehl i Rudolf Schwarz Kogler, went beyond borders of painting in the actions of working with real bodies, objects and substances within the space and time. Their goal was ‘direct’ facing with sensory and psychic reality in every possible aspects – including tragic, difficult to digest and first of all, socially suppressed experiences – which will intensify artistic forms in order to increase awareness. The Actionists held on to a radical approach and rejected the compromise. Actionism was triggered by anxiety and scandal, and not just in time when it happened. It also provoked the discussion of taboo issues and was eventually co-initiator of social reckoning process.

From the book Vienna Actionism: Art and Upheaval in 1960s Vienna, Eva Badura-Triska et al., Walther König, Köln, 2012.


In today’s context of time, what does the action mean? Which is the operation field of action within today and former art perspective? On which ways it differs and what the action brings in the public space, and as an activity within cyber/public space?

Action, as a branch in the fields of conceptual and performing arts, reacts on its surroundings, state and mind of particular society, often questioning utopian and dystopian discourse, both of individual and mass. Body, as an instrument of artistic expression, becomes the mediator between the author and observer, and on that way sets an outdated situation in which the observer identifies with the performative body as an instrument. The performer, as the creator of the action, often initially acts as an observer, and in chain reaction includes other actors, he follows them or leads and creates a process as an essential way towards the stated goal.

The idea of freedom through self-organization against imposed authority brings anarchism as a possible alternative. Namely, in Bakunjin’s words, by striving to do the impossible, man has always achieved what is possible.

Speaking about actions in public and private space, on the domestic scene, actions of Tomislav Gotovac, the neo-avant-garde pioneer of performance and conceptual art, film and media art, lover of music and music expert, are extremely important. Through the focus of the retrospective exhibition of Tomislav Gotovac named Tomislav Gotovac: Crisis Anticipator – Don’t Ask Where We’re Going, we can step into the problematics of authors agency under different systemic and social circumstances. Social provocation is an extremely important and shocking method of Gotovac’s public streaking during the 1970’s by which the author questions the general state of mind of social and political worldview. In the same time, in Vienna was active actionist scene, which reacted on postwar activities in Austria, questioning taboo and social psyche itself.

This is how the selection of this year’s edition of the program DOPUST / Days of Open Performance Rijeka is directed. Invited artists, Milo Moiré, Lala Nomada, Karl Salzman, NSK-Irwin, Josip Maršić and Zoran Medved, will present performances and actions that deal with the body as a trigger of social reality.

Within the manifestation, the director of Viennese Actionism archive, Eva Badura-Triska, will start a talk on Actionism, and pull the parallel with the work of Tomislav Gotovac, as a part of the MUMOK/Museum of Modern Art in Vienna collection. After the talk the movies of Vienna actionists, like Hermann Nitsch, Günter Brus and Otto Muehl will be presented.

Branko Cerovac, art historian and curator, will hold a lecture about cultural-artistic practices in political systems from 1960’s onwards.

Days of Open Performance in Rijeka represent selection of the performance program developed within retrospective exhibition Tomislav Gotovac: Crisis Anticipator – Don’t Ask Where We’re Going in the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.

Marko Marković

Program of DOPUST:

22. – 25. rujna 2017.


Performance actions:

• Friday, 22 September 2017 at 7 p.m., MMSU @ Dolac 1
Milo Moiré (DE): action in public space, from the former to the new location of the Museum, Ceci n’ est pas une femme nue / DOPUST

• Friday, 22 September 2017, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m., MMSU @ exBenčić
Lala Nomada (MEX): performance in progress

• Saturday, 23 September 2017, 7 p.m., MMSU @ exBenčić
Milo Moiré (DE): performance, The Plopegg Painting Performance

• Sunday, 24 September 2017, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m., MMSU @e xBenčić
Karl Salzman (A): action in public space, Performance for lifesaving tools and cultural identity protection

• Monday, 25 September 2017, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m., MMSU @ exBenčić
IRWINNSK, Passport Office, Rijeka, 2017.


Film projections and talk:

• Sunday, 24 September 2017, at 9 p.m., Art-Kino Croatia
Eva Badura Triska, curator from the MUMOK (A): introduction to actionist projections
Projections of works by Tomislav Gotovac, Günter Brus (A), Hermann Nitsch (A), Otto Muehl (A)

• Sunday, 24 September 2017 at 7 p.m., MMSU @e xBenčić

Branko Cerovac, curator and art historian, lecture: RI – Segment of Art in Darkness 1977 – 2017

Selector: Marko Marković

DOPUST/ Days of Open Performance
MMSU/ Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rijeka
MUMOK/ Museum of Modern Art, Vienna
Galerie Michaela Stock