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Performing Primal Communism

Project leader:
Paul-Julien Robert (IBK)

Project team:
Thomas Marschall, Elisabeth Schäfer, Ida Clay

Cooperation partner:
Austrian Museum of Folk Art and Folk Life

Funded by:
FWF – Austrian Science Fund | PEEK (AR568)


FWF | PEEK project
led by Paul-Julien Robert, Institute for Fine Arts
Duration: 1.2.2020 – 31.5.2023

Performing Primal Communism works on an arts-based research perspective on the AAO Commune, founded in 1972 by the actionist artist Otto Mühl and dissolved in 1990. The Commune was devoted to a breakdown of established social habits and beliefs. Its declared aim was to overcome authoritarian institutions like the state, church, bourgeois family, capitalism and patriarchy with the help of science and art. But the social experiment ended in a highly authoritarian leader system within a gated community. Mühl was convicted of widespread sexual abuse and sentenced to 7 years in prison.

Together with former communards the project seeks for a revisiting, remapping and recontextualizing of the Commune via "research in and through the arts" in building a research setting for the reenactment of shared AAO history: (Re)writing of Reality through (Re)enactment.