A perverted portrait of an artist

The Artist & The Pervert is a somewhat atypical portrait of an artist that tells less about composer Georg Friedrich Haas’ microtonal music then it does about his BDSM-based relationship with his wife.
Aleksander Huser
Huser is a regular contributor to Modern Times Review.
Published date: December 17, 2018

Georg Friedrich Haas is one of the world’s most acclaimed contemporary composers. His microtonal magnum opus In Vain (2000), written as a reaction to the progress of right wing forces in his birth nation Austria, is considered one of this century’s first true masterpieces.

In December 2013, Haas sent a message to a woman through the online dating site OK Cupid describing his wish to «tame» her. Her name was Mollena Williams – an American writer and so-called «kink educator», who was open about her submissive preference. They met and hit it off, both sexually and otherwise. Less than two years later, they were married.

Through their sadomasochistic relationship, the now over 60-year-old and three-time divorcee Haas gradually came out of the closet as sexually dominant. Not least, the article «A Composer and His Wife: Creativity Through Kink» published in The New York Times in February 2016, gives the Williams-Haases quite a lot of attention.

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A Different Portrait

With this background it may come as no surprise that The Artist & The Pervert is a somewhat atypical portrait of an artist. The documentary gives some insight into Haas’ merits as a composer, but mainly focuses on their love life – and it seems clear that it is first and foremost based on love – and how liberating this has been to him, both personally and artistically.

«The Artist & The Pervert discusses different aspects of our times’ trend for openness and acceptance.»

A marriage consisting of a 15-years-younger woman, who is her husband’s subordinate slave 24-7, is in itself remarkable enough. But there are more factors that make this potentially problematic – not least the fact that he is white and she is black, she even being a descendent of African slaves. Moreover, Haas regards himself to be a feminist, and explains that he had problems for a long time accepting his sexual preference. It can be tempting to draw some psychological conclusions based on the fact that both his parents and grandparents were Nazis, and that he went through quite a lot of …

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