Gallery Opens Sex Club to Boost Visitors

A Viennese contemporary art venue knows sex sells and is using the theory to drive visitors to their Gustav Klimt exhibition. The Secession opened a club called Element6 with the help of Swiss artist Christoph Buechel that visitors must walk through to reach Klimt’s works. Austria rightist Freedom Party issued multiple press releases denouncing Buechel’s project and one politician who initially approved it later told a local paper, “It was always spoken of as an art project with a nightclub, but never as a swingers’ club.” Buechel hoped to ignite a scandal similar to the 1902 outrage that erupted when Klimt exhibited “Beethoven Frieze,” due to the way it depicted women’s bodies. The painting, now acknowledged as one of the Austrian artist’s most significant contributions, is now on display in the Secession basement, only reachable after passing through the heated club. It claims to “aim to give as many people as possible the opportunity to overcome their inhibitions.”