I just learned in more depth of the work of Joseph Beuys and I see now a profound sense of kinship with him. I have to say I have not seen much of his work in person or documentation of it and so forth. I have not seen many videos of him either. Currently, I am reading the dissertation of a student at CUNY (circa 2017) who had Claire Bishop on her committee. And she is talking a bit about Beuys.
A little bit of internet surfacing also produced that Beuys’ concept of social structure is very similar to what I have been talking about. That is what it seems so far. From what I read it had an emphasis on the spiritual and how social engagement through art can change the world. Sounds amazing.
I know that the story about how he was cared for after his plane crash is made up but it seems to me from what I have read about him that he was trying to do good. Apparently an artist made fun of him for these beliefs. That strikes me as very small. I think art does have the power to change the world. It can change us! For the better.
Beuys also stated, as I have read now more, that everyone is an artist and how all actions in life can be considered as art. That is what I have been saying with the idea that art is the craft of life. I think I need to do more reading about Beuys and his ideas and also how the ideas were put into action. I know he was involved with the green party in Germany and was concerned about the environment.
Before I read this, I actually started thinking to myself, you know if I find that someone has already said what I am saying, how will I feel? And what I came up with right before finding more information on Beuys I said to myself, well, it is sort of like meeting another yoga teacher. You are both just sort of practitioners of the spirit. And anyone can do yoga just like art. In the dissertation that I am reading the author speaks how Beuys did not mean that everyone could paint and sculpt for example but more like in line with what I have been saying, that all life practices can be considered art.
As I reflect on the past year or so, it seems that I did actually give my aunt an arcticle about Beuys because I was trying to describe some of the diversity that his project with the live coyote conveyed. I think she may have read that and then related back to me how everyone is an artist. That is just a theory I have. It’s interesting if so. The truth is I feel ever more connected to art history and just the world in reading this. I see what is called Social Practice in a new light and also Relational Aesthetics. I love this stuff actually. It is different from a painting and sculpture and so forth. I also learned of a new-to-me term called Dialogical Art which I guess is about dialogue and that falls in line with what I have been saying about conversation as an art form.
I always wonder, as an artist when you are coming up with ideas, if your work is in fact more about ideas than materials, then should you research the idea. Sometimes I think yes and sometimes I think no. If you do, it’s fine but you can’t possibly know all of art history or even contemporary art. Try as anyone may there are always going to be gaps. I guess it can be about coming to terms with that sometimes.
This blog IS MY ART PRACTICE RIGHT NOW. It is my studio and exhibition site. I just want to revolutionize so much and open up curiosity and wonder. I also find that being aware and active in some ways with the cultural, political and social landscape is also a good factor of coming to life.
It is all about being engaged in life. I just still think there is so much possibility to treating everyone as an artist and ourselves as art. I have actually wrote a book on that topic called The Art Flame. I am currently looking for a publisher for that work. It shares a lot with what Beuys said. I still think it is an important message. And again I am not thoroughly informed about Beuys and his life. I need to learn some more. But this is just based on what I know so far.
I have to say that this area to write in is more about doing work. It is not about making the perfect blog post.