The work I chose for this week strategy is Joseph Beuys, “Beuys believed everyone is an artist and all actions are art he lived in a constant performance”(1), that’s why I didn’t picked a specific work of him, I chose his whole life as the piece.
I think that beside a performer he could been seen as a philosopher, who was seeking to share and influence others with his anthroposophical ideas, where he “strongly believed that humankind survival depends on its letting go of materialism in order to move on to the next evolutionary stage” (2) This kind of idea shows me more the shaman adjective that he held, because is a similar thinking from the Mayas, which I believe in it too, who assured that humans where in constant evolution.
The best way to show your point of view, especially if you want to influence others is by being an example of it, and that’s for me Beuys principal strategy, the way he lived according to the principles he believed in.
I do believe his work was effective, because it did influence a lot of people, or at least plant an emotion or a thought, to followers and haters. As he said:
“Art that can’t shape society and therefore also can’t penetrate the heart questions of society”
The material and tools he used for their exhibition weren’t random pick, all of them had a purpose and meaning:
“Felt represents heat, fat mental strength, while Beuys himself acts as the transmitter … Copper, another typical Beuys material which he used for many of his actions, is the conductor which stands for venus force. The rabbit is the organic force….”(1)
Joseph Beuys totally fits into the context of the period it was produced as a conceptual artist and a performance, where the action is the art, no so much the physical result (3)
1.- Khayyer, Jina, “Energy Plan for the Western Man”
2.- Levi Strauss, David “American Beuys “I Like America & America Likes Me””, 1999.
3.- Chayka, Kyle, “WTF is … Performance Art?”, 2011