Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Get In Line- Joseph Beuys

Image from

German artist Joseph Beuys is possibly my favourite artist EVER. Everything about him- his life and his work excites me. A true rebel who spent much of his remarkable life pushing boundaries, being naughty and suggesting that 'everyone is an artist'. The part that I love most about Beuys is the scandal that surrounds his involvement in WWII, the very same war my grandfathers fought in.

 He told and retold stories of  having crashed his Stuka bomber in the Crimea, after which he was rescued by nomadic Tartars who saved his life by rubbing him with fat and wrapping him in felt to warm his broken body. There is no evidence to support this version of events, surrounding the ordeal with a juicy air of mystery. True or not, Beuys used this as the basis for many of his works, questioning notions of truth in personal and historical narrative. You can read a brief biography here. Please do, he is truly fascinating.

His works are vast and varied referencing many a Modern Art movement.

I Like America and America Likes Me

Joseph Beuys - Infiltration for Piano 1966 / The Skin 1984 

"... everything in the scale in the possibilities is involved from noise to concept,the sound of the piano is trapped. The piano is an instrument to produce sound, when not in use is silent but still has sound potential. When no sound is possible the piano is condemned to silence.

The relationship to the human position is the red crosses of emergency, if we remain silent. We fail to make the next evolution step.

Such an object is intended as a stimulus for discussion and in no way is to be taken as an aesthetic product it is vital that human kind should slowly learn to speak.

Everything must be expressed, negatives even those beyond language." 

Joseph Beuys


Film rolls with film, tied with string and labelled

Here is a link to a  Joseph Beuys documentary from cordltx on Vimeo.

What do you think? Booking tickets to London, Paris New York to see his work in the flesh?

1 comment:

Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em