Fritz Ostermayer, Gott ist ein Tod aus der Steckdose – performance (God is a death from the electric socket – performance), 1994

Cover back and front

Cover back and front


This must be one of the strangest books in my collection. Which is saying something. Fritz Ostermayer’s Gott ist ein Tod aus der Steckdose  – performance (God is a death from the electric socket – performance) is designed as the program to a live performance. It contains a collection of forensic photographs of men: all of whom died accidentally during auto-erotic stimulation. (Occasionally it seems, God is also a death by crane or leather.) The philosophical, analytical and explanatory texts by the author are always placed on the left-hand page, accompanied by a photograph on the right. In between the texts there are instructions as to which music should be played (listed below) during the performance. Various performance-readings by Ostermayer took place in Austria in the 1990s. Ostermayer told me that at one at the alte Sargfabrik (old coffin factory) in Hütteldorf, Vienna the images were projected 4 x 4 meters. Even knowing the photographs already, he was himself deeply moved by the power of this sight. The imagery is remarkably similar to the photographs produced by the Viennese Actionism movement of the 1960s and ‘70s. Ostermayer even mentions Austrian Actionism artist Rudolf Schwarzkogler in his text, along with Marcel Duchamp and French writer Alfred Jarry.

Fritz Ostermayer is an Austrian journalist, writer, DJ and musician.

Music to be played during the “performance”:

Rocco Granata, Buona Notte
John Cale, Big White Cloud
Adamo, Es geht eine Träne auf Reisen
ABBA, I have a Dream
Don Gibson, Vaya Con Dios

The photographs are taken from the book ‘Atlas der gerichtlichen Medizin(Atlas of Forensic Medicine) by Waldemar Weimann and Otto Prokop.
Published 1963 by VEB Verlag Volk und Gesundheit, Berlin (DDR).

This copy is signed and inscribed with a quote by the author: “Warum wurde noch nie eine Frau in solchen Maschinen aufgefunden??” (“Why has a woman never been found in such a machine??”)

Published by edition selene (Klagenfurt – Wien, Austria) in 1994 with a print run of 500 copies.

Soft cover

25 x 19.6cm

88 pages

Inscribtion by Fritz Ostermayer

Inscribtion by Fritz Ostermayer