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Visual Arts

Joseph Beuys - An Interview

1980 | 01:01:00 | United States | English | B&W | Mono | 4:3 | Video
In this interview, Beuys recounts his own tangled experiences as a child in interwar Germany. The contradiction between an undestroyed natural environment, full of possibility, and the deeply troubled social body at the time was an intense and formative one. He recounts that "when I was five years old, I felt that my life had to go to an end because I experienced already too much of this contradiction." Beuys tracks his increasing ability to analyze the contradictions he felt, and the urgency during the WWII-era for renewing and re-posing questions central to the life, labor and freedom of the people.
Beuys also discusses his engagement with materials, the limits of preparation for a performance, and other issues important to his art practice. He continually addresses the urgency of an expanded understanding of art with the radical potential to transform the social body. He holds out the vital possibility of "another kind of art" where aesthetics is meaningless except as "the human being in itself."

A historical interview originally recorded in 1980 and re-edited in 2003 with support from the

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