Perverted Sex-ession

When sex meets art, the canvas can get (politically) sticky; a controversial show at a renowned Vienna museum

A little over a century after its founding, the Vienna Secession is again scandalizing the city with exhibitions that run against public propriety. Founded in 1897 by Gustav Klimt,  this union of artists now presents Christoph Büchel’s sexually deviant club themed exhibition at the base of the Element6 building.

For the next two months all sexual taboos will be broken. For 18 and up, the museum includes a dress code of no t-shirts or jeans, including many DJ’s, strippers and dancers. Bondage, mask-mystery, body painting, red walls and black velvet, benches and beds, sculptures in erotic poses and women and men of different ages making out and having their fun was all part of this sexual experience.

Said to represent today’s sexual life, style and society, the exhibition has been criticised to only have shock value and no artistic value, relying on the controversial pieces for success.

Michael Häupl, Vienna’s Social Democratic Mayor shares that a swinger club does not please him one bit, however he added that Vienna’s government would not lower its subsidies for the Succession, since it was a highly recognised cultural institute. The mayor adds, “an artist needs provocation.”

HC Strache, right-wing Freedom Party leader’s opinion made a complete revolution. “The City Hall SPÖ must have flipped its lid if it has provided 90,000 Euros for the instillation of a project reflecting the sweaty fantasies of a Swiss ‘artist’ featuring public group sex,” he complained.

Most likely pleased by his success, Christoph Büchel had said he wanted to cause as much controversy as possible to reach the same level as Gustav Klimt’s Beethoven frieze, when it was painted shortly after the Secession was built.

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