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Joseph Beuys: Shamanism and the Art of Politics

Irina Kulik
September 11, Sunday

Limited seating available, arrive early to ensure availability

Since Duchamp, the ‘value’ of art has been constantly questioned. As the importance of the concept behind a work of art began to eclipse issues of production and technique, new questions arose concerning the role of the artist. Most important of these questions was: In what ways was the art world lacking before Duchamp, and subsequently others, entered the scene? Joseph Kosuth posed this question and many others in his seminal text Art After Philosophy (1969). Using Kosuth’s essay as a starting point, this series of lectures looks at 20 key artists of the twentieth century who contributed to the revolutions and counter-revolutions that nurtured contemporary art.

The eighth lecture in this series focuses on Joseph Beuys (1921–1986), the German artist and teacher who turned his life into legend, with actions and performances How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare (1965) and I Like America and America Likes Me (1974), where he spent days locked in a room with a wild coyote. Irina Kulik examines this mythical artist and the effect he has had on contemporary art.

Irina Kulik is an art critic, culture theorist, lecturer at the Institute of Contemporary Art and the MKhAT studio school in Moscow, columnist of Kultura newspaper and author of numerous publications on contemporary art, music and cinema.

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