Joseph Beuys - performing life
Everyone is an artist!
This famous slogan by Joseph Beuys points to the importance of creativity in life, for everybody - not just something special reserved for artists!
Beuys demonstrated with his own life how the creativity and sensitivity towards the world around us can make the ups and downs life brings us much more tolerable.
Performance was one of the fields that Beuys often worked with. The "How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare" has became the most beloved one for me personally. I often refer to the "I Like America and America Likes Me" from 1974, where Beuys spent three days in a room in New York with a coyote.
' To make people free is the aim of art, therefore
art for me is the science of freedom. '
"I Like America and America Likes Me"
Joseph Beuys in America - Energy Plan for the Western Man
The Energy Plan for the Western Man by Joseph Beuys is a thought provoking read.
Joseph Beuys opens an interesting angle relevant to the current discussion around the green values. Highly recommended!
' When I say everybody is an artist, I mean everybody
can determine the content of life in his particular sphere,
whether in painting, music, engineering, caring for the sick,
the economy or whatever. All around us the fundamentals
of life are crying out to be shaped or created. '
What Is Art? - Conversation with Joseph Beuys
What Is Art? by Joseph Beuys is one of the keys this remarkable Artist offers for us to his realm, where the core questions predominant also in the today's discourse are opened in a genuine manner.
I recommend the Conversation with Joseph Beuys for everybody for a refreshing read!
Beuys - felt, fat and honey - becoming an Artist
Joseph Beuys - Homogeneous Infiltration for Piano, 1966
in the permanent collection of The Pompidou Centre, Paris
Â© the estate of Joseph Beuys
"An object of this kind is to be understood as a stimulus for discussion and should in no way be taken as a product of aesthetics" Joseph Beuys speaking about his Felt Piano
The following recount is from the notebook of Beuys, telling us an important passage, that took place in 1945, that may enlighten the statement above:
"Had it not been for the Tartars I would not be alive today. They were the nomads of the Crimea, in what was then no man's land between the Russian and German fronts, and favoured neither side. I had already struck up a good relationship with them, and often wandered off to sit with them. ..
Their nomadic ways attracted me of course, although by that time their movements had been restricted. Yet it was they who discovered me in the snow after the crash, when the German search parties had given up. I was still unconscious then and only came round completely after twelve days or so, and by then I was back in a German field hospital.
So the memories I have of that time are images that penetrated my consciousness. The last thing I remember was that it was too late to jump, too late for the parachutes to open. .. But I must have shot through the windscreen as it flew back at the same speed as the plane hit the ground and that saved me, though I had bad skull and jaw injuries. Then the tail flipped over and I was completely buried in the snow.
That's how the Tartars found me days later. .. They covered my body in fat to help it regenerate warmth, and wrapped it in felt as an insulator to keep warmth in."
When becoming artist, after the war, Beuys started using these materials - felt, fat as well as honey as raw materials for his art.
Fat Chair, 1964
by Joseph Beuys
"I wished to go completely outside and to make a symbolic start for my enterprise of regenerating
the life of humankind within the body of society
and to prepare a positive future in this context."
Honey Pump in the Workplace
from Documenta 6, Kassel, 1977
"Let's talk of a system that transforms all the
social organisms into a work of art, in which
the entire process of work is included...
something in which the principle of
production and consumption
takes on a form of quality.
It's a Gigantic project. "
Felt Suit, 1970
by Joseph Beuys
"In places like
everyone talks too
rationally, it is
necessary for a
kind of enchanter
Joseph Beuys multiples
Honey Is Flowing In All Directions - by Joseph Beuys
7000 Oaks - 7000 Eichen
for Documenta 7 in Kassel, 1982
Beuys also recognized the importance of the environmental issues, a great example being the sculptural project '7000 Eichen - 7000 Oaks' for Documenta 7 in Kassel, 1982.
"Beuys's project 7000 Oaks was begun in 1982 at Documenta 7, the large international art exhibition in Kassel, Germany. His plan called for the planting of seven thousand trees, each paired with a columnar basalt stone approximately four feet high above ground, throughout the greater city of Kassel. With major support from the Dia Art Foundation, the project was carried forward under the auspices of the Free International University (FIU) and took five years to complete, the last tree having been planted at the opening of Documenta 8 in 1987. Beuys intended the Kassel project to be the first stage in an ongoing scheme of tree planting to be extended throughout the world as part of a global mission to effect environmental and social change; locally, the action was a gesture towards urban renewal."
From the Dia Art Foundation
' I think the tree is an element of regeneration
which in itself is a concept of time. '
7000 Oaks - 7000 Eichen - in the process, with Beuys
Cult of the Artist
BEUYS - We are the Revolution
The Hamburger Bahnhof, the third location of Berlin's Nationalgalerie presents Joseph Beuys from 3 October 2008 to 25 January 2009 "Cult of the Artist: BEUYS - We are the Revolution"
from The Hamburger Bahnhof website: "In the second half of the 20th century, the world of art found in Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) a figure whose universal aspirations and ingenious visual imagery lunged out deep into the European history of ideas. No other artist in the 20th century applied his thoughts on the relations between art and society in such a complex way as Joseph Beuys.
Twenty years after the last major exhibition of his work in Germany, and following major exhibitions in Zurich, Paris and London, the exhibition 'BEUYS. We are the Revolution' will give shape to this large expanse of his ideas. For the first time ever the context of his work will be outlined in great detail by way of various documents, writings, films and photographs. The presentation will be grounded in the open work and above all on Beuys himself: Beuys the artist, Beuys the thinker, Beuys the individual."
we are the revolt
by TJADER-KNIGHT inc.
I have been working together with my partner David Knight since 2000. We work mainly within the digital realm of new media creating audio-visual installations as well as linear work for large screens. We also sometimes carry out performances.
In 2003 we created the performance 'we are the revolt' in Brussels in Homage to Joseph Beuys, our great inspiration.
TJADER-KNIGHT inc. website, in constant process ..
' La rivoluzione siamo noi '
Joseph Beuys Filz TV
Beuys photographed by Andy Warhol
Beuys Bien Bien Beuys Shaving Performance
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