A SERIES OF lectures and presentations
Joseph Heinrich Beuys ( 12 May 1921 - 23 January 1986 )
The artist with the hat, the felt and the fat corner. Today, 35 years after his passing, Beuys is still the symbolic figure of the provocative artist, the visionary who was ahead of his time. He was concerned about democracy, which had only just been won after the World War II, and looked critically not only at the art world and teaching, but also at capitalism. Money should not be a commodity, "The creativity of the individual is the true capital," according to Beuys. He dealt with the anthroposophical teachings of Rudolf Steiner, possibly as a consolation and counter-draft to the horrors of the war experience, and thus he remains controversial. If he is regarded by some as a provocateur, creative revolutionary and anti-bourgeois free spirit, his time as a soldier in the Wehrmacht and his closeness to Rudolf Steiner's philosophy is a matter of controversy for others.
His achievements, meanwhile, are undisputed: He demystified the power of art schools, "Every human being is an artist," and "To be a teacher is my greatest work of art. The rest is the waste product, a demonstration". He chatted, lectured and explained art to a dead rabbit. "Do you want to make a revolution without laughter?" he asked. His expanded concept of art still strikes at the heart of relevant social debates today.
In Turkey, two universities in Izmir and one in Batman are taking the anniversary as an opportunity to reflect on the artist, cultural theorist, teacher and art professor Joseph Beuys. There will be guest lectures from Germany and a unique documentary film.
"JOSEPH & GRETA" | lecture
Prof. Dr. Eugen Blume
curator and art historian, Germany
© Johannes Blume
Prof. Dr. Eugen Blume worked as a curator and art historian at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (GDR), among others, and for many years as director of the Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart in Berlin. Eugen Blume was considered a Beuys expert and activist already in the GDR, when he promoted the "expanded concept of art". He is currently active as curator of the Beuys Year in Germany: Beuys2021.com
The lecture Joseph & Greta by Eugen Blume deals with two special personalities, their parallels and the societal impact of their worldview: Joseph Beuys and Greta Thunberg
"B E U Y S" | movie screening and interview with director
curator and art historian, Germany
Foto Andres Veiel © Arno Declair
Andres Veiel is an author, film and theater director who lives in Berlin. His film projects are preceded by intensive research, in some cases lasting several years. He is considered one of the most prominent representatives of a politically engaged art. Veiel is a member of the German and European Film Academies and the Academy of Arts. He teaches at various universities, including the German Film and Television Academy Berlin (dffb) and the University of Zurich.
The documentary "Beuys" by Andres Veiel, premiered at the Berlinale 2017, was awarded the German Film Prize in two categories: Best Documentary, Best Editing. The film is a meticulously researched and excitingly edited collage of countless previously untapped visual and audio documents. "Beuys" shows a multi-layered man and artist who always explored and transcended social and artistic boundaries and for whom communication was at the center of his work.Introduction by director Andres Veiel.
KEMERALTI/IZMIR AND BATMAN PUBLIC SPACE INTERVENTIONS | Talk
Maquis Projects, Izmir
Ali Kemal Ertem
Maquis Projects, Izmir
Maquis Projects, Izmir
This is an ongoing project being developed by Pelin Tan, Nina Kerzelli and Maquis Projects creating sustainable areas of urban gardening/farming, nature rewilding, social interaction, play and artistic intervention in a residential area of Kemeraltı Izmir. We will be actively collaborating and sharing ideas with similar projects in other cities. For the 2 year initiation/set up phase we will be working with local schools and community organizations, and various artists and theorists, both locally and internationally
The immediate aim of these student workshops is to create temporary social structures in the Kemeralti area in Izmir and also Batman city.
Some of our longtime aims are: The creation of a collective, cultivation garden, and areas for seeding, food foraging and tree planting in the local area that will also act as sustainable community forums and assembly areas.
Date to be announced
"Digital Exhibition Spaces" | Presentation and Panel Discussion
Assoc.Prof.Dr. Güzden Varinlioğlu
Izmir University of Economics
As a member of the Department of Architecture at the Faculty of Art and Design, Izmir University of Economics, Assoc.Prof.Dr. Güzden Varinlioğlu works with students on contemporary formats for digital exhibition design.
In a case study on this topic and in collaboration with curator Jörn Fröhlich and the artist collective Daragac in Izmir, the exhibition "Beuys and His Students" from the Deutsche Bank Collection, is documented in public space and processed as a digital tour.
The result will be on display at 100beuys.com starting in May 2021 and will be subject to a panel discussion with guests from architecture and the cultural scene.
Ali Cem Doğan
"Joseph Beuys – Lightness and Humor" | lecture
performance artist, Germany
© Simon Pfeffel
Joseph Beuys` "social sculpture" implies one thing above all: the action of several people to achieve a common larger goal. Thus, Beuys` work is not least a dialogue with the spectators and viewers, from which both consensus and dissent can emerge. Although his installations, which can be found in museums, seem dry, rough and rigid when displayed in the exhibition space or in showcases, they are always a process of precise and yet equally playful arrangements. The artist's performances and artistic actions are incomparably more playful, in and through which he certainly knows how to undermine himself. For example, Beuys signed all felt costumes of a Basel carnival group whose contribution to the 1978 Basel carnival was a reaction to public criticism of the purchase of the Kunstmuseum Basel. The lecture by Simon Pfeffel aims to shed light on this aspect of Joseph Beuys and to draw a line of "social sculpture" across subsequent artists' positions up to the present day.
JOSEPH BEUYS FROM TODAY'S PERSPECTIVE AHU ANTMEN IN CONVERSATION WITH JEAN PETERS, COLLECTIVE PENG! | Presentation
The German artist Joseph Beuys (1921-1986), one of the outstanding figures of 20th-century art, is not only a reminder of these days; he remains highly topical. His artistic approach, which focuses on the natural transformation of the materials used as well as processes of perception and experience, and his intellectual foundation, which puts man at the centre, secure saver for the artist, who regarded art as a revolutionary force, in the 21st century. His thinking, which foresaw the economic, political and social discourse of our time, as well as his approach to global problems that are becoming more urgent on a daily basis, continue to make Beuys an extremely living role model for today's artists who try to combine ethics and aesthetics.
Beuys was also known for his political and social interventions. As a founding member of the party DIE GRÜNEN, he has also sought a political mandate. The intertwining of art and politics and their expression in "happenings" and high-profile interventions and actions was an expression of Beuys's idea of the penetration of all spheres of life through art – and the social-revolutionary power that was attributed to it.
How topical is this approach today? How political can and may art be? Can artistic actions still bring about change in our time? If so, how?
Ahu Antmen teaches visual communication design at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of Sabanci University. Together with Friedhelm Hütte, she was co-curator of the exhibition Joseph Beuys and his students, who showed works from the Deutsche Bank Collection in 2012 at the Sacon Sabanci's Museum.
Jean Peters, born in 1984, is a journalist and action artist. He studied political science in London and Berlin and founded the media tactical collective Peng! with which he regularly infiltrates companies, exhibits at several art biennials and was awarded the Aachen Peace Prize. In 2018 he co-founded the NGO Seebrücke and in 2019 he was undercover in the climate deniers scene for the research centre Correctiv. Jean Peters lives in Berlin.
Moderation: Kristian Brakel, Heinrich Böll Foundation
The Goethe-Institut and the Turkey-Representation of the Heinrich Böll Foundation are carrying out this project together as part of the series of events 100 Beuys.
PHoto © Ivo May
Photo © Rüçhan Şahinoğlu