Paul Wong, 2002
5 min., colour, stereo

Based on slides shot in 1978 of the Austrian ‘aktion artist Hermann Nitsch’. Put away for 24 years, the color transparencies are spread out on a light table. The images are examined with a macro lens and captured with digital video. Not so much a reconstruction, or documentary of an event but a process of re-imagining. Photographed by Paul Wong in Trieste, Italy, June 1978.

A hundred frames record a 12-hour, noon to midnight performance in an Roman amphitheatre in the center of Trieste in Northern Italy.  Hermann Nitsch has been creating his unique rituals since the early 1970’s. The blood flows over naked bodies strapped on crosses, carried blindfolded, senses are tweaked with percussion sounds and blaring brass instruments.  Religious iconography, operatic orchestrations of cast, crew, friends, and the public who eat, dance, drink.

Aktion by Hermann Nitsch
Soundtrack: Paddy Ryan
Camera and editing by Paul Wong