Joseph Beuys's I Like America and America Likes Me" was performed in May 1974. The location of the action is commonly referred to as the Rene Block Gallery in New York. The gallery opened with this performance at 409 West Broadway. Beuys performed this action as a 53-year- old and with nearly a dozen years of artistic action under his belt. A student of sculpture at the Düsseldorf Art Academy from 1947 to 1952 (and later with the sculptor Mataré until 1954), he received international acclaim as an artist in 1968 with his involvement in Documenta IV in Kassel.
He made his first trip to the United States (February 1974) - he would not visit before the end of the Vietnam War - to present his "Energy Plan for the Western Man" which materialized as a series of interactions and meetings with the public in New York, Chicago and Minneapolis. Beuys announced the plan as an expression of the question of potential, the ability of each to his own artwork for a new social organization. It is based on the belief of the spiritual nature of man that will evolve to reconnect with the spiritual energies that had become foreign.
'I Like America and America Likes Me' was the artist's first and only performance in the United States. 1963 marked his entry into Fluxus, which owes its name to the phrase of Heraclitus "All life is linked to the flow of creation and destruction". Beuys was among the main representatives of the movement in Europe. This movement encompassed major names such as George Maciunas, Nam June Paik, John Cage, George Brecht, Robert Filliou, Dick Higgins, Alison Knowles, Yoko Ono, Ben Patterson, Daniel Spoerri, Emmett Williams and Vostell.
Fluxus is intended to reflect the state of flux in which all the arts are based. Fluxus tends to express the following principle: "The art that's life." Deriving its designs from Dada, Fluxus gave birth to a "non-art", the "non-production of paintings and objects" in favor "of pieces of life in the form of raw material" in the words of Catherine Millet.
It follows that the act, art in action (in the form of happenings, actions, performance) is more important than the work of art. The meeting of Beuys with Fluxus appears as a determining factor in the emergence of art by Beuys.
A year after the first Fluxus festival in Wiesbaden in 1963 Beuys organized the "Festum Floxurum Flexus" at the Art Academy (the Academy of Art in Düsseldorf where he taught sculpture from 1961 until 1972, when he was dismissed). He invited artists of the Fluxus movement (Brecht, Maciunas, Paik, Vostell, and Williams). On this occasion, he realized for the first time in public two actions: Concert for musicians and Siberian Symphony, the first section.
Beuys produced nearly 70 works of art until his death in 1986. Beuys's actions are often described as intimate, autobiographical, political and intense.
He designed each work of art as a new version of the basic theme that tends to make philosophy more understandable.
Tags: Joseph Beuys's, I Like America and America Likes Me", Düsseldorf Art Academy
[...] It symbolizes the "coyote complex" (see II referring to the history of the persecution of Native Americans, as well as the relationship between the United States and Europe as a whole. The coyote was America's ambassador: wanted to focus only on the coyote. I wished to isolate myself, see nothing else in America but that coyote . and swap our roles. "Joseph Beuys quoted by Caroline Tisdall in Joseph Beuys, Coyote, Munich p 11. This is why the terms of the encounter with coyotes were important to Beuys. The coyote is the persecuted Indian by the European extension. [...]
[...] Beuys symbolizes the white man with the American Sound and the "coyote" complex. Then the roles are reversed: The European Beuys became the persecuted Indian and the coyote referred to America. B The man, animal and nature: The world of culture is affected because man has lost the connection with nature and with the animal world. The industrial society has made him lose his creativity. The loss of the link and the spiritual impoverishment are associated with the power to destroy the world. [...]
[...] "Joseph Beuys quoted in Lebeer p 184). The lamp: The lamp is painted brown, a recurring color in Beuys. Like the gray felt, brown is the brightness obscured. This is also the symbol of the land, land- based heat and dried blood. The lamp in the felt is not designed as a technical device but as qu'âtre, a glow such as that of the setting sun. It is also symbol of energy as in the work "The Horde" in 1969. [...]
[...] Beuys was rescued by nomads, farmers, and Tartars who provided care. His wounds were embalmed in grease which healed his wounds. His body was then wrapped in felt which protected him against cold and moisture. He was given honey as a food. He regained consciousness after eight days. The multiple versions of the accident (in Asia, Siberia, in Holland in 1942/1944) and the unusual nature of this episode in his life have led to questions about the reality of the accident. [...]
[...] Beuys struck it three times to call the coyotes. The deafening sound of whirring turbines from a tape recorder: The turbine is the symbol of indefinite energy; unused energy referring to the chaotic vitality of the dominant technology. Like the Wall Street Journal, the noise from outside is the symbol of the limits of materialism. Gloves: The gloves symbolize the hand. The hand has no specific function: it refers to the universality of human abilities and thus freedom. This symbol appears as a contrast to the Wall Street Journal that refers to a specialist world which is a "slave" of the universe of money. [...]
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