i published the manifesto-like text below in 1978 on the back of a poster announcing a major retrospective of my work at the modern art galerie, vienna. a longer, revised version of the text subsequently appeared in the book “declarations and descriptions regarding the orgien mysterien theater project”, published in verlag “das hohe gebrechen” in 1981 with illustrations by günter brus.
1. prinzendorf castle is the orgien mysterien theater.
2. the o. m. theater lies in the middle of the lovely countryside of the weinviertel, and is surrounded by vineyards, corn fields, wooded ravines, and a veined network of lanes with wine cellars.
3. on the grounds of prinzendorf castle, inside the palace and its environs, the 6-day-play will take place annually in the very near future, the greatest and most intensive festival of humankind.
4. creation (everything that is and comes to pass) penetrates through the living to the perception of itself. the course of the world, of the entire universe, creates tor itself through everything living, through all living beings, organs that enable it to recognize itself.
5. in the landscape of the weinviertel the o. m. theater will become the place of living recognition of our immortally dynamic reality, our true potential to experience and be happy will be discovered.
6. the glorious focal point of the festival is the joyous awareness that creation, through the celebrating participants, gains of itself.
7. through our intensity the course of creation (the world transformation) is advanced, and experienced in its fulfillment that lies in the infinite.
8. the festival of the o. m. theater is a call to experience intensively, ecstatically, deliriously.
9. in the enthusiastic intoxication of existence we identify with the entire cosmos, with the entirety of everything that exists. we causally signify the infinite, at once constructive and destructive, current of world transformation that in the realm of infinity permanently gives rise to worlds that will pass then rise once more.
10. the circumstance of our being here is celebrated.
11. the circumstance of our being here, of our life and death, has its ramified causes, conditions and promises in the cosmic course of the world, in the orbits of the stars, in the being of the galaxies.
12. the festival participants walk through the countryside of prinzendorf. processions and groups of enthusiastic people walk through the vineyards and fields…
13. it is beautiful to behold the gentle rippling of a hill covered by vineyards the curve that leads the vines to the top of the hill makes us giddy, makes us reel, brings us happiness we find ourselves scarcely able to endure.
14. through lanes processions are led to wine cellars. in the pleasant chill of those cellars blissfully simple celebrations take place. plain food is eaten with the wine.
15. the paths through the corn fields are beautiful.
16. the paths through the vineyards are beautiful.
17. the paths through the orchards are beautiful.
18. the paths into the valley, taken on a hot evening or in a hot summer night, are most beautiful of all.
19. beautiful, too, are the paths into the valley, when taken in summer before the day grows hot.
20. for us the contemplation of the stars and their movements is sacred, is enthusiasm, transports us into intoxication.
21. i believe that the universe is my true body.
22. in june, when everything is in luxuriant blossom and lush and green with leaves, prinzendorf is at its most beautiful.
23. in prinzendorf the upper lane of wine cellars on steinberg hill have no electric light, a candle has to be lit before going down inside the wine cellars.
24. with acidic wine it is advisable to eat fatty dishes with a lot of bread. the wine digests the fatty meat, the fatty meat consumes the wine.
25. in summer it is cool inside the wine cellars, the temperature of the wine is that of the cellar.
26. in winter it is warm inside the wine cellars.
27. wine barrels are made of wood that breathes.
28. wine siphons are made of glass.
29. the wine of the o. m. theater is naturally pure, it is simply fermented grape must with no additives.
30. fermentation is a pure and simple process comparable with a second growth phase, and nothing must be allowed to disturb it.
31. aside from orgiastic intoxication and excess, getting drunk on wine becomes a fine discipline that can be learned. it is possible to tame and master the intoxication, to determine the degree.
32. when the tavern closes it is fine to have the prospect of a long walk home through fields and vineyards.the singing of the happy drunkard echoes through the night wide with stars. upon arriving, the late home-comer retires wearily to bed, his intoxication spent.
33. often i have sacrificed the rational activity of the day and given myself over to the intoxicating darkness of a wine cellar. full intoxication then sent me out into the glaring sunlight which was incomprehensible to me. but, by the same token, i often found that in the cellar there was no difference between night and day. upon leaving the cellar to urinate i was astonished to find myself standing below the glittering firmament, a sight that plunged me into inebriation deeper still.
34. in the vineyards there are tables at which happy people, seated on long benches, eat food and drink new wine. the mood of the revelers is one of carefree, mild intoxication. one hears folk music being played. it is fine to drink at dusk. when the first stars appear, everybody starts to sing songs celebrating the new wine. the drinking continues late into the night bright with stars. many diligent and serious drinkers are inspired to stay all night and then experience the sunrise in the full flight of their intoxication.
35. the communal meal is important to us as an act that brings us together and accomplishes total communion. we want to recognize each other, be within one another, be in the other, in all things. your bodies are my body. for me you are the external world, just as for you i am the external world. we want to incorporate the external world. we incorporate, as we gather together as friends, the flesh of our brothers who were slaughtered for us, the flesh of the plants and animals, and we drink the blood of the fruit, the fermented juice of the grape, in order that all may be transformed within ourselves and may pass through us in order to proceed beyond us. the state of happiness brought by our drunkenness on existence should change ourselves and change the world. the communal gathering offers us merry intoxi¬cation and the realization of our existence.
36. the god dionysus signifies a living principle in no way extinct that defines and enthuses the course of being alive.
37. the matter-of-course smells of nature, of the plants. the air, the foods and drinks are registered with finely tuned nerves. in connection with these smells we notice artificially produced fragrances such as incense and aromatic essences.
38. life is experienced through all five senses at once.
39. the o. m. theater is a festival of all the senses and equally a festival of the combination of sensory impressions.
40. synaesthetic reference systems define the play of the o. m. theater.
41. my primary task is to outline the score of the 6-day play. smells, tastes, tactile sensations, sounds, colors, and light are stated most precisely, as is likewise the course of events.
42. alongside my primary task i wish to write the score for a play that will be performed in prinzendorf during all four seasons of the year.
43. one year in prinzendorf brings a great variety of things.
44. in early spring we enjoy the mildness of the air, the germination of the plants, the evocative singing of the birds. the mild nights of march, too, give us a sense of the equinox.
45. shrubs, trees and vines come into leaf in springtime after blossoming amidst the activities of bees and the spraying of pollen. the green, fermenting, breathing, moist-fresh fullness of the leaves covers all the hills. only now is the new wine bottled, having had time to mature in the barrel, the nightingales beat their wings in the leafy canopy above the alley of chestnut trees (nightingales really do reside in the deciduous trees of prinzendorf). christians go to the may devotions in order to offer prayers to the mother of the world before an altar groaning under the weight of fresh, fragrant white lilac. the meadows merge into lush, succulent green.
46. in summer all flowers blossom most luxuriantly, and, in particular, the full, white, strong-scented roses. the fresh flowers are carried to the altars of the church so that they and the sanctuaries may be decorated with rapturous abandon. altars are put up outdoors. corpus christi processions advance through the fields. a monstrance bearing the body of the lord is carried through the meadows. the first villages begin to hold their parish fairs.
47. the highest festival of humankind, the great universal celebration, the fulfillment and overcoming of history, the 6-day-play of the o. m. theater takes place annually in prinzendorf at this time. the proclamation and authentic experience of our universe, the incarnation of the universe, comes into being, the universe is recognized as our true body. the moment captured (by the festival), the experienced NOW, tears us out of our lukewarm vegetation and brings into our life the dimension of eternity, effects realization of existence. the captured, experienced moment (intoxication of being) brings identity with the nature of creation, with its moving, transforming, incessant occurring, in the infiniteness of eternity. when growth has reached its jubilating climax the people, the friends, the brothers stream to their festival, to the festival of life, to the festival of the fundamental affirmation of our circumstances, our existing. the festival leads us to an intoxicated avowal of being.
48. in late summer the now ripened corn stands tall. harvest is everywhere. much fruit, too, has been harvested already. the days and the nights are very hot. august nights reveal the stars more clearly. on the hot evenings people sit outside the wine cellars or seek refreshment in the cool interiors. the dusk of august evenings is the time of the finest walks, everywhere between the vineyards and the paths through the fields people stimulated by the warm dusk are to be found. many walks end with a visit to a wine cellar. others join the groups outside the cellars, and drink with them.
49. in autumn the grapes and all the fruits are harvested. the sugar in the fruits and the grapes has matured to full sweetness. it is the last of the warm, beautiful, sunny days. the 21st of september has brought the second equinox. apples and grapes are consumed. the holy, enthusing wine harvesting time has come. the vineyards are animated and teeming with grape pickers. tractors pull carts heaped high with grapes to the cellars. the crop is pressed, becomes sweet slime shot through with seeds. the skin of the crushed grapes bursts, the crushed flesh comes spilling out, spraying sweet juice. it is good to dip a glass into the unfermented mash and taste the mixture of over-sweet grape juice, crushed grape flesh, and grape seeds. later, one drinks the must prepared for fermentation, the pressed juice of the grapes.
50. not long after the grape harvest the wine cellars are full of dangerous fermentation gases.
51. there is a sad beauty to the hunt, in which the murderous voracity of the hunters closely resembles that of the hounds. but the murderous thirst of the hunters alone is quenched in the wine cellars. for many participants the hunt ends with the pleasure of their bloody trophies and utter intoxication.
52. it is sad when shrapnel tears apart hares, pheasants, and partridges.
53. it is sad when a bullet tears open the heart of a doe, a stag, or a boar.
54. but it is fine to eat game washed down with red wine.
55. around all saints’ day, when it is rainy and foggy, the unpaved paths are all full of mud and puddles, and in the wine cellars one can taste foamy, frothy, cloudy wine still in the process of fermenting.
56. in late autumn, after there has often been frost on the ground, the first new wine can be drunk.
57. in winter, when the frosty air and cold wind have made the soil hard as stone, it is good to drink intoxicating, invigorating wine in a warm cellar.
58. animals are fed, bred. milked, sold, and slaughtered.
59. throughout the seasons animals are slaughtered (for our nourishment) in farmhouses and abattoirs.
60. hares and poultry are slaughtered and gutted.
61. sheep are slaughtered, skinned, and disembowelled.
62. goats are slaughtered, skinned, and disembowelled.
63. pigs are slaughtered and disembowelled.
64. cows are slaughtered and disembowelled.
65. the program of the o. m. theater has nothing to do with sentimental back-to-nature ideologies. nor does it aim to demonize technology, which is held in high regard when its use is appropriate. the o. m. theater only uses those elements corresponding with our true beings. connections with the whole picture that surpass our trifling decisions are laid bare; we are determined by a certain purism in regard to what is essential.
66. list of simple activities: tending fruit, grafting vines, grafting fruit trees, consigning seeds to the fertile darkness. pruning vines, harvesting fruit, harvesting grapes, pressing grapes, supervising the fermentation of the wine, milking cows, milking goats, assisting the conception and birth of animals, slaughtering, skinning, and disembowelling animals, watering flowers, planting, fertilizing.
67. viewed in a different way, growth and decay is merely a ceaseless stream of occurrence, of alteration and transformation this unceasing stream transforms itself in the expanses of infinity and perpetuity, there is no longer any interior and exterior. everything permeates everything else. everything changes within itself, from within itself to the best of its possibilities.
68. the working of the stars, the becoming and passing of the worlds, drives our festival intoxication to extremity, to the orgiastic, and the collapse, extinction, of billions of galaxies and their fresh blossoming turns the orgy of most animated voluptuousness into sadomasochistic destruction. becoming and passing are now one.
69. the course of creation is comparable with an explosion or a never-ending, painful birth.
70. the world as we live and recognize it is tragic. it is the tragic overflow, heavy with death and life, of that which occurs.
71. the tragic is failing, is perishing, being taken back. the tragic is the perpetual transformation into death.
72. intensive living is the fulfilment of the tragic replete with closeness to death and, at the same time, intensive living is the glory of overcoming death.
73. ecstasy, voluptuousness, is marriage with immortality.
74. the marriage with immortality is effected by the catastrophe of the drama, the tragic event, the becoming apparent of the tragic.
75. the expressive beginning of creation is experienced through the catastrophe of the drama. the cause of all suffering, of all birth, of the painful beginning, is conjured up. the eternal beginning is experienced, the eternal, streaming creation that at once destroys itself and spawns itself anew.
76. what results is the antithesis of the buddhist doctrine of salvation. the pain-conditioned beginning of all life and the torture of living is affirmed, and simultaneously the jubilation, the resurrection, is experienced.
77. the nature of the tragic is transformation, change, the raging thirst for being meets with resistance, causes suffering.
78. resurrection stands in the way of the tragic. resurrection overcomes the tragic.
79. through the 6-day-play this drama becomes a festival.
80. resurrection is tragedy turned on its head.
81. the festival of the o. m. theater is a resurrection play.
82. the VOLUPTUOUS pleasure of excess, of excessive orgiastic perception, transports us into a state in which pain and utmost pleasure blend most intimately, the states of life and death seem to reveal themselves within us simultaneously, displaying no difference between life and death. only in everyday life do the modes of human perception make death and life appear to be separate states. the excess of experiencing the mysticism of being, the experience of basic excess, comes into the vicinity of the truth of infinite being. birth, conception, death, death on the cross, and the resurrection are experienced simultaneously. the fear and the voluptuous lust of the murderer is inside us, and equally the victim’s mortal fear. we kill and we are killed, in the joyous racing pain of intensive existence-finding we identify with the transformational forces of being that bring about, simultaneously and repeatedly, growth and destruction then growth again. we fall into the abyss of darkness and into an abyss of light. at the same time, we suffer worlds of death, of cruelty, and race through worlds of immeasurably bright shining blinding white blissful experiences of light. raw meat, bloody and moist and rent in the course of dionysian excess, is set against the taste of fruit on the morning of the resurrection. the dual abyss of light and dark is BEING.
83. the basic excess = the rending of the lamb in the play. all stellar trajectories proceed through the blood, and the sweet nerves of the sheep (lamb), the living prophesying stream of atoms signifies the building, the structure, the immeasurable arch of the UNIVERSE (vaulting, solar eclipse, lightless space, orbit, stellar wine, milky-way wine, milky-way cellars), burning divebomber (in the pulpit), dying, injured gods. the experience of the basic excess is aware of the creative fury, of the destruction and sexual lust of a holy fusion of force, destruction and building of a world system in the voluptuous lust of the basic excess annihilation explosion big bang, creative ur-excitement of bridehood of destruction and growth in the rent, sacrificed (crucified) body of the lamb (easter feast), body philosophy physiognomy of the organs ANIMAL BODY philosophy.
84. the o. m. theater knows no stage, no theater of representation, no actors, no comedians, the hero of the drama is the participant in the play, the events in the play are his ability to experience, the development of his possibility to experience, which correspond to the events in the play, the plot of the drama.
85. through the o. m. theater life itself is staged.
86. the o. m. theater knows no backdrop, merely the most animated space of experience that is the landscape of prinzendorf.
87. the architecture of the o. m. theater is provided by the site of prinzendorf castle, the palace and the grounds and the outhouses and stables. all the same i wish to dig out additional theatrical venues in the (underground) realm of the earth. my objective is to produce an underground uterine architecture.
88. the new, non-additive form of the gesamtkunstwerk, which has real events as its course of action or experiencing, employs the natural sound of the occurrence as its means of musical-acoustic communication. the ecstasy of abreaction, of instincts breaking through, of the unbridled gratification of instincts through dionysian excess, has need of sounds, has desire for noise. ecstatic noise drives forward the sadomasochistic rending of flayed animal cadavers, raw flesh, and moist intestines. the bodily warmth of the blood of freshly slaughtered animals, sprayed blood, the bite into raw flesh is screamed into the music. the screamed rage of women giving birth, the fear of the newly born, is mixed with the heat of slime-soft, uterus-warm electric storm and bright thunder of alien galaxies. the noise of the trajectories of the stars is revealed. the droning of the birth of the universe. the rage of the cataracts, the lust for life coursing through us, has reached its climax. a vortex of thunder pulses through space. the infinite course is become the harmony of sexual heat become noise.
89. in 1975, i was able, with the assistance of the verein zur förderung des o. m. theater, the association founded in 1972, to realize one day of the 6-day-play. the action lasted 24 hours from sunrise to sunrise.
90. i ask all my friends to provide me with assistance in realizing the o. m. theater project. becoming a member of the association (verein zur förderung des o. m. theaters) brings the enterprise closer to the prospect of realization.
91. i have my deceased wife, beate nitsch, to thank for being able to purchase prinzendorf castle. her unparalleled efforts oblige me, over and above the determination i feel already, to complete and realize my work.