Friday lates: Joseph Beuys and his coyote - charlatan or prophet?
Time: 18:00 - 20:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: VB703
Duration: 1 session
What is the course about?
This Friday evening talk offers a lively and topical introduction to the work of the first major artist – perhaps the most important artist – of post-war West Germany. We will look at Beuys’s important contribution as an initiator of installation art, as well as at his belief in the need for a transformation of the materialistic and repressed post-war mentality of Germany and Western society in general: for example, his notion that potentially ‘everyone is an artist’, his activism with the antinuclear and ecological peace movements, his conviction that Germany’s traumatic recent past must be openly confronted. We will examine some of the contradictions and ambiguities of his work, connected with his belief in the quasi-priestly role of the artist as a healing agent, the critical strategies he used, and the myths he promoted around his work.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
• Beuys’s pioneering sculptural installations and performances
• His notion of the artist as healing agent and ‘shaman’
• His belief in the need for educational emancipation
• Beuys’s mythical narrative of wartime survival and rebirth.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Identify and discuss 3 of Beuys’s most significant installation pieces
• Describe 3 works or performances in which the artist acts as healer or as shaman
• Discuss the ambiguous role of myth in Beuys’s work.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is suitable for all levels.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught with slide presentation, handout readings, and group discussions.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You might wish to bring a notebook. You might wish to buy some of the books on any reading list given out in class.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Our Friday Lates series runs in the autumn and spring terms - search 'Friday lates' to find more…
You might also be interested in:
VB259 - Late at Tate and National Gallery - part 1
VB731 - Late at Tate and National Gallery - part 2.
Mark Stuart-Smith gained his PhD in Art History at Birkbeck on silence in the work of the Spanish sculptor Juan Muñoz, and is writing a book on Muñoz. He has a diploma in painting from the Royal Academy schools, a BA in Art History (Birkbeck), and a Masters in Cultural Memory (University of London). Mark’s main research interests are 20th-century Spanish art, and art and homelessness. He writes for the Journal Art History, and also teaches art at homeless day centres in London, including the Connection at St Martin’s.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.