Hermann Nitsch b. 1938
Maria - Conception - Action - Hermann Nitsch (1969)
Directed by Irm & Ed Sommer, Duration: 7 minutes

Since 1963, the Austrian avant-gardist Hermann Nitsch has created a series of live happening, which (like Otto Muehl's Sodoma) combine cruelty, sexuality, defilement, and visual shock for purposes of purification, and "ab-reaction" of sado- masochist impulses. This is a film record of his most controversial creation: the crucifixion of a young woman, the disembowelling of a lamb carcass, and her defilement with it.

"By the act of crucifixion, disembowelment, defilement, and dismemberment of a lamb carcass the sadistic urge to kill and masochistic wish for self-sacrifice are substituted. Historically, these drives have found no outlet in culture and religion, the potentialities of the sado-masochist instinct being guarded by secret and prohibition. The substitute act of the lamb crucifixion is a brief, forbidden, lustful glance into this potential and serves as partial resolution of that connection with displacement which Nitsch also calls ab-reaction."

In the Maria-Conception-Action, the eroticisation and desublimation of the idea of redemption is intensified into pornography ... it complements the flesh of the lamb carcass with that of the female nude and is crucified allegorically like the lamb and together with it. The slitting open and evisceration of the lamb carcass corresponds visually to the opening and pushing apart of the vagina; the defilement and dismemberment of the lamb corresponds to the pouring over or covering of the nude female body with blood and entrails, and finally, to the sex act itself, which Nitsch -- again in an allegorically obscene substitute act -- completes with a godemiche."

- Peter Gorsen, Sexualaesthetik, 1972