Friday, December 17, 2010

Joseph Beuys: on Multiples

Joseph Beuys's activist strategies found their most obvious expression within the realm of objects in his commitment to the production of multiples. 

At the heart of Beuys’s practice was a particularly European form of multiples in which two- and three-dimensional objects are issued in editions. 

Marcel Duchamp pioneered the concept when in the 1930s he began producing boĆ®te-en-valise (box in a suitcase), a portable miniaturized compendium of sixty-nine of his most well-known works. In the 1960s he authorized the fabrication of an edition of his 1910s “readymades,”

Proliferation of artists' multiples in the 1960s and 1970s had a variety of motivations and explanations, revolving around a desire to liberate art from an elitist straitjacket.

Multiples supplanted the individual artist by a collaborative production team and ideally, the individual consumer by a mass audience perhaps unable to afford or relate to the products of the modern art market.

Thereby making them more widely available and abolishing the idea of the “original” work of art.  In myriad formats, Beuys’s multiples were intended to be widely circulated and cheap to acquire, ranging from small-editioned objects to mass-produced political flyers and postcards, in materials as different as felt, wood, found objects like water bottles and tin cans, instruments, records, film, video, and audio tapes related to performances, these 572 works, rich with allusions to his biography and personal iconography, provide a complete picture of his diverse oeuvre.

Everess 1968. Multiple of two bottles, one with felt, in wooden box with rubber stamp

Fernsehscheiebe (TV Disc) 1968 felt disc with stamped paper on woodboard
SCHLITTEN (SLED)  1969B wooden sled, felt, fabric straps, flashlight, fat, oil paint, string

Ja ja ja ja ja ne ne ne ne ne (Yes yes yes no no no no ) 1969 Layered felt with recording tape, 32 minutes

Filzangung (Felt Suit) 1970 felt The felt suit is not just a gag. It’s an extension of the sculptures I made during my performances.  There, felt also appeared as an element of warmth, or as an isolator, Felt was used in all the categories of warmth sculpture, usually in connection with fat. And it’s derivative of that… Ultimately the concept of warmth goes even further. Not just physical warmth … another kind, namely spiritual or evolutionary warmth or a beginning of evolution.

Bruno cora-tee per la lotta continua vera (Bruno Cora-Tee for the True Continous Fight) 1975 bottle containing herb tea with a sealed top and printed label in a glazed wood box

OSTENDE on the beach or in the dunes a cube shaped house therein the Samurai Sword is a Blutwurst PLINTH 1970-82. Rolled felt in three parts, dried meat, metal, string, and glass display case, Dimensions variable

How the Dictatorship of the Parties Can Be Overcome  1971. Multiple of plastic shopping bag containing printed sheets, some with rubber stamp additions, and felt object
Institution and Noiseless Blackboard, with book Joseph Beuys Multiples 1971

Feldbett , 1982  field bed, electrical accumulator (copper, iron, wood), felt blankets  installation

Samurai-Schwert (Samurai Sword) 1983. Multiple of felt and steel

ohne Titel (aus PLIGHT) , 1985 felt 


Plight 1985 rolls of felt , piano 

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