With the recent rise of purported “zombie attacks,” its sort of like we’re all living in the sick wet dream of Ed Gein. And after watching a recent live performance by the artist Bruce LaBruce at a gallery in New York – where actors portrayed some sort of rebel faction and then execute a hostage all in one of LaBruce’s signature bloodbaths – I started thinking of shock and extreme violence in art as a baptism of our consciousness. In 1909, at the very birth of modernism, Italian writer Filipo Tommaso Marinetti’s published in France’s leading newspaper Le Figaro his seminal piece entitled The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism which declared that “Art can be nothing but violence, cruelty, and injustice.” To Marinetti violence was not only as a means of producing an aesthetic effect, but was also inherent to life itself. There is certainly a palpable depravity underneath our gossamer thin surface – the dark, primitive recesses of our unconscious can sit only so long under the heat until it snaps. Since 1963, the Austrian artist Hermann Nitsch has created a series of live happenings, which combine cruelty, sexuality, defilement, and visual shock for “purposes of purification, and “ab-reaction” of sado-masochist impulses.” In these performances we can see the amazing creative lineage between Nitsch and artists like Bruce LaBruce who don’t necessarily make this type of art for the sake of shock alone, but to reawaken our unconscious from a permanent state embryonic paralysis and exact revenge on our general sense of collective torpescence. This is a film record, entitled Maria – Conception – Action, of Nisch’s most controversial creation: the crucifixion of a young woman, the disembowelling of a lamb carcass, and her defilement with it. Text by Oliver Maxwell Kupper. See film after the jump (warning: film is EXTREMELY graphic, if you are under the age of 18, at work, or squeamish about real blood do not watch).