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Joseph Beuys

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That is for me the reason why I have to speak, and I have to speak more often than I do so-called art-work. You see, the complication is that I have to use something.. ..I have to use a traditional determination for ideas, so when I speak about art, I can only say that there are two kinds of art: the traditional art, which is unable to bring up art at all or to change anything in society or in the ability and the joy for life; and then, there is another kind of art, which is related to everybody’s needs and the problems existing in the society. This kind of art has to be worked out from the beginning, it will never lead to result in any physical form.. ..that is my meaning.
--
Interview with Kate Horsefield, 1980, as quoted in Energy Plan for the Western man - Joseph Beuys in America, compiled by Carin Kuoni, Four Walls Eight Windows, New York, 1993, p. 75

 
Joseph Beuys

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Already when I speak I need my own body, the physical flesh – it is a kind of clay to inform into – and I need my lungs, I need my tools here, existing in my anatomy; I need the physical conditions of other forms of life, in my brother or my sister. I must at once eliminate discussions, interpretations.. ..So, that is the second part of the problem; that the language, the thinking on the problem is a more important sculpture even than the end of the process existing in tools or in paintings, or in drawings, or in carvings. This transcendent character of information, in an invisible world, gives us at the same time the proof.. ..that we are not only biological beings, material beings, but first spiritual beings, not existing on this planet – that we are only partly existing on this planet – and being involved in wood, in felt, in fat, in iron, in rubber( the materials Beuys used a lot in his ‘sculptural work’, fh) or whatever resources of this planet.

 
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The time has gone by when a Huxley could believe that while science might indeed remould traditional mythology, traditional morals were impregnable and sacrosanct to it. We must learn not to take traditional morals too seriously. And it is just because even the least dogmatic of religions tends to associate itself with some kind of unalterable moral tradition, that there can be no truce between science and religion.
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