Swinging new art exhibit comes to Vienna Museum

If you want to see one of Gustav Klimt’s pieces, you’ll need to cross through a world that may make you uncomfortable … and you’ll probably need partner. Haven’t figured it out yet? The Secession, a contemporary art museum in downtown Vienna, has plopped a swingers club between the museum and the Klimt – part of a project by Christoph Buechel, an artist from Switzerland. During the day, you’ll find mattresses, a bar and a whirlpool, as well as photos to make you blush. At night, of course, it becomes Element6, and anything between two among as many partners as you can assemble goes.

The project, which runs until April 18, 2010, is intended to recall the controversial “Beethoven” Frieze by Klimt that was exhibited first in 1902. Though it’s now thought to be one of Klimt’s most important pieces, it was originally considered to be pornographic (I guess the Austrians didn’t “know it when they saw it” back then). This time around, the Austrians aren’t offended. The right-wingers aren’t crazy about it, but the general public doesn’t seem disturbed. Gerald Adler, of the Kent School of Architecture in Britain, tells The Associated Press, “He’s putting it in a place that’s an accepted venue for avant-garde art, so it loses its effect.”