Fundación Jumex cancels Hermann Nitsch exhibition after petition

Exterior view of Museo Jumex, photo: Rene Castelan Foglia, courtesy Fundación Jumex Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City

Fundación Jumex has announced that the exhibition of Austrian artist Hermann Nitsch and Vienna Actionism has been cancelled, reports El Universal (Mexico). Although the foundation hasn’t specified the reason, the decision appears to result from a petition directed against Nitsch’s practice – allegedly involving the mutilation and murder of animals – and which called for the cancellation of the show. With over 5,000 signatures, the movement gathered a growing number of sympathisers, who also spread their discontent on social media platforms with hashtags such as #PintaConTuPropiaSangre (‘paint with your own blood’).

In a statement published on artnet, Nitsch expresses his disappointment over the cancellation of the show, and defends himself against accusations of animal slaughter: 'I try to show the death of animals, the slaughtering of animals. Normally I used carcasses from the butcher for my performances. These animals were slaughtered for food supply for our society. The last slaughtering within my theatre happened in 1998, it was performed by a professional butcher under surveillance of a veterinarian with the authorisation of the government [...] Everybody who knows me knows that I am an animal protector. From my point of view factory farming is the biggest crime in our society.'

The exhibition would have been the Nitsch's first exhibition in Mexico, scheduled to open 26 February. As a replacement, the foundation will present Colección Abierta 02, a group show gathering works from the collection by artists including Wilfredo Prieto, Dieter Roth, Hans-Peter Feldmann and Andreas Slominski.

2 February 2015.