With this happening, Kristek considerably stirred the waters of all possible circles as he emerged from the stomach of a dead cow. In the newspaper, headlines like The Artist Lubo Kristek Crept Out from the Stomach of a Dead Cow to Criticize Consumer Society, Mad Night in Podhradí nad Dyjí or A Dead Cow Gave Birth to Live Lubo Kristek appeared.
In the first part of the happening, Kristek used his sculpture Pyramidae Klipteon as a stage prop. Actors performed scenes with its parts – giant wooden senses. The members of the depicted society, however, were connected to distant partners (via phones), not to the people in the immediate vicinity. The first happening act culminated in a wild fight over the wooden senses.
In the second act, a dead cow was brought to the scene. From the cow’s belly, Kristek emerged still in his amniotic sac being expelled as the last viable fetus to survive. The artist read his manifest against the numbness of the society and the technocratic grayness of the visual environment. Then he inspired the audience to left their colour palmprints on the concrete electricity pole standing nearby.
In the scene with the cow, Kristek brought the viewers into a threshold situation. They couldn’t let themselves only be carried by the action and observe it from a safe distance. The viewers became a part of the scene, everything was taking place within their reach. The happening was directly looking into their eyes and literally breathing on their neck. It wasn’t possible not to take a stand.
The viewers were vigorously confronted with their own behavioural patterns. Right in front of them lay a dead cow, which provoked outrage in many (even a gastric one). Yet, all the performer did was expose overlooked context. The same dead cow as a steak on a plate was acceptable, for many it was even tasty. We don’t see the death, or rather we fool ourselves. We don’t perceive its sacred dimension either. Moreover, the current society withdraws its gaze from the results of its actions in the bigger picture; from the impact they have on animals, nature but also on man himself.
With his happening, Kristek presented a conflict he intentionally left unresolved. He opened a space for the viewer who had just been deviated from their stereotype. The space to watch things from a different point of view and reevaluate them which is the gate to the transfiguration of one’s own world. By means of revealing one’s inner conflicts, it is possible to set out for a journey towards healing.
The end of the event opened a door into fantasy. As in Lubo Kristek‘s famous quote: ‘If the child in Man atrophies – he loses his fantasy. If mankind aborts fantasy – it will die out.’


  • Title: Pyramidae-Klipteon II
  • Creator: Lubo Kristek
  • Date Created: 1 June 2002
  • Location Created: Podhradí nad Dyjí, Czech Republic
  • Subject Keywords: Podhradí nad Dyjí
  • Type: Performance
  • Medium: Performance
  • Art Movement: Performance art, Happening
  • Art Form: Performance piece

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