beuys.art

February 16th, 2003

GESAMKUNSTWERK


Nicholas Primich 5/11/02

random excerpts

Between 1962 and 1965 (De Domizio 1997:28), Beuys was part of the Fluxus
movement, which based itself on a connection between art and life and was
directed towards a new order of human society. Often working with
the concept of chaos Beuys awoke to the idea that a new situation could be created from it.
Another idea of Beuys’ by which art is available to everyone and
useable anywhere and everywhere came from this period (De Domizio 1997:28), namely vehicle
art.

In a certain sense, Beuys was an anarchist (Stachelhaus 1991:106). He had
no time for the mind-set of democratic compromise, but was rather interested in
breaking through the limitations that had been imposed on democracy.
Beuys meant very seriously when he said (Stachelhaus 1991:106) that he had
nothing to do with politics but that he only knew art, this keeping within the principles of
his expanded concept of art, the idea that art is the primary factor governing
our existence and our actions.

In 1974 Beuys (De Domizio 1997:49), together with the Nobel Prize
Winner Heinrich Boll, established what could be considered the artist’s most
important creation, aimed at a real form of progress with respect to existing educational
institutions: the ‘Free International University’, (Luckenbach 1997) which
admitted all students and function outside of the existing academic system.
Often using the blackboard as a demonstrative tool, his actions became
lectures in which he directly addressed his audiences.

Another large part of Beuysian thought was the concept of ‘Social
Sculpture’ (De Domizio 1997:83), whereby art is a daily act, a broadened and dilated
action, not localised, not univocal, not limited to the relative content of the art
object but art as the creative commitment of living, entirely incarnated in
behaviour. A way of transforming the world into ‘Social Sculpture’, in which no
man needs to acknowledge himself, but rather is and acts as an ‘artist’, the
demiurge of every moment of his life (De Domizio 1997:83).

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