Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Joseph Beuys

A few weeks ago I watched a video about Joseph Beuys on YouTube, "I Like America and America Likes Me" (link in an earlier post). It consists of extracts of a famous performance, with some commentary and other video clips spliced in, a 16-minute mini-documentary. I had also seen the "Eurasia" installation in MoMA and was drawn to it.

I don't know what it is about Beuys. Maybe it's Benjamin's "aura". I think it has to do with his gentle attitude to animals; he projects a genuine positive attitude towards everyone, live and let live.

It's a sort of political art. I can respect this sort of performance (the coyote) -- the bits shown on the video were quite powerful. It means something, I don't know what, it's just moving in some way. The way the coyote tried to engage him. I can't get my mind around that. It makes me think that solitary confinement must be very cruel. It makes me think of ancient times, before technology.

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