1) Untitled Statement 1973 by Joseph Beuys from Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists’ Writings. Edited by Kristine Stiles and Peter Selz. Published University of California Press (April 18, 1996).
Beuys was a political artist to the core; he expanded the concept of art at the juncture of real life, and almost singlehandedly created a political opposition to the autocratic German federal authority for four decades. Joseph Beuys tries to solve the “questions of the future culture” and “to transgress the borders of a restrictive civilization of a repressive centralism.”
An essay or paper on Joseph Beuys
It is in this spirit of candid yet informed debate that the museum has undertaken collaborative consultations with Beuys’s curators, colleagues, and estate in order to achieve sensitive and consensual resolution over the condition of Block Beuys. It exhibits an acute awareness of the complex conservation and philosophical issues attending renovation, as well as the potential rewards for Joseph Beuys and Block Beuys’s public reception. The Beuys Estate has confirmed that it was never the artist’s opinion that Block Beuys, in its entirety, was untouchable. Moreover, the museum has received backing from eminent Beuys colleagues such as Götz Adriani, the Hessisches Landesmuseum curator during Block Beuys’s installation. The museum recognises that either outcome – preservation or renovation – could estrange a sector of Beuys associates. What each sector must contemplate is whether that outcome will bring current and future audiences any closer to Beuys, his practice, and the Darmstadt Block.
Mennekes has been engaged in many discussions with artists through exhibitions and lectures that address this vital relationship of creative expression and experienced religion. These encounters are documented in print in a multitude of catalogue contributions, essays and monographs that discuss individuals such as Donald Baechler, Joseph Beuys, Christian Boltanski, James Brown, James Lee Byars, Francis Bacon, Eduardo Chillida, Marlene Dumas, Jenny Holzer, Anish Kapoor, Barbara Kruger, Arnulf Rainer, David Salle, Cindy Sherman, Antoni Tàpies, Rosemarie Trockel, and Bill Viola among others. Mennekes poses systematic questions, addressing individual works and also their vital relationship to the broader world of contemporary culture. He seeks structural correspondences and parallels that address our experience of faith and doubts in organized religion, as well as the secular world. Above all, however, he shows through over one hundred interviews with artists that their work is not simply dealing with private convictions of a personal nature, but with large issues that relate to all kinds of people striving to live a meaningful life.OBSERVATION: It is necessary to understand that art may contain insight and meaning beyond the mundane. Many artists have worked to demonstrate the potential of human thought and action.
The potential (action), that we find in the work of Joseph Beuys, is the path that leads to full participation in the mystery of humanity.Joseph Beuys: Actions, Vitrines, Environments focuses on three areas of Beuys' work which became increasingly central to his artistic output during the second half of his career. Through his performances or 'Actions', Beuys encouraged audiences to incorporate his political and social messages into their everyday lives. The exhibition includes photographic and hand-written records from these momentous and transient events. Also included are a number of Beuys's vitrines, in which the artist used the display cases commonly found in museums to present objects which he considered to be socially significant. He regularly worked with felt, animal fat and wax believing them to be of universal relevance to the human struggle for survival. From the early 1970s, Beuys increasingly made larger scale, room-size installations or 'environments' of which the pack is a seminal example. Consisting of a VW van from which spill twenty-four sledges, each with a roll of felt, a lump of fat and a flashlight, this work explores the concept of human survival in the face of technological failure.