Art alone makes life possible - this is how radically I should like to formulate it. I would say that without art man is inconceivable in physiological terms... Even the act of peeling a potato can be an artistic act if it is consciously done.

— Joseph Beuys

The most irresistibly Joseph Beuys quotes that are guaranted to improve your brain

Only art is capable of dismantling the repressive effects of a senile social system that continues to totter along the deathline: to dismantle in order to build A SOCIAL ORGANISM AS A WORK OF ART.

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The ego must be developed, not for its own sake, but because it is needed by society. If you are only interested in self-realization then you cannot make a good painting. To do this you have to have thought about forming, and about how ideas of forming stem from history.

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I think the tree is an element of regeneration which in itself is a concept of time. The oak is especially so because it is a slowly growing tree with a kind of really solid heartwood. It has always been a form of sculpture, a symbol for this planet.

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I think the tree is an element of regeneration which in itself is a concept of time.

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Man is really not freeing many aspects.

He is dependent on his social circumstances, but he is free in his thinking, and here is the point of origin of sculpture. For me the formation of the thought is already sculpture. The thought is sculpture.

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Every man is a plastic artist who must determine things for himself.

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For instance, in places like universities, where everyone speaks so rationally, it is necessary for a kind of enchanter to appear.

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Art for me is the science of freedom.

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Every human being is an artist, a freedom being, called to participate in transforming and reshaping the conditions, thinking and structures that shape and inform our lives

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Where would I have ended up if I had been intelligent?

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To be a teacher is my greatest work of art.

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The only hope I had was when (in his youth)I saw one day a photograph of a sculpture by Wilhelm Lehmbruck, a German sculptor of expressionistic style. This was perhaps the only example, Lehmbruck, between my sixteenth to nineteenth years in which I saw a possibility for art to be principally of interest to innovate some things, instead of writing a very boring, naturalistic repetition of what is already done by nature.

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About Joseph Beuys

Quotes 29 sayings
Nationality German
Profession Artist
Birthday October 16

I wished to go completely outside and to make a symbolic start for my enterprise of regenerating the life of humankind within the body of society and to prepare a positive future in this context.

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I work in the field of art, and you know how during a period of Marxist ideology, fewer people are inclined to believe in the power of the culture as a whole: they believe in the revolutionary potential of economics, class struggle theory.. ..Therefore it's time to show that art means the power of creativity, and it's time to define art in a larger way, to include science and religion too..(1973

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To make people free is the aim of art, therefore art for me is the science of freedom.

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I think art is the only political power, the only revolutionary power, the only evolutionary power, the only power to free humankind form all repression. I say not that art has already realized this, on the contrary, and because it has not, it has to be developed as a weapon, at first there are radical levels, then you can speak about special details.

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Every human being is an artist

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I am interested in the creativity of the criminal attitude because I recognize in it the existence of a special condition of crazy creativity. A creativity without morals fired only by the energy of freedom and the rejection of all codes and laws. For freedom rejects the dictated roles of the law and of the imposed order and for this reason is isolated.

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Every man is an artist.

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After I am dead I would like people to say: 'Beuys understood the historical situation. He altered the course of events'. I hope in the right direction.

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Truth must be found in reality, not systems.

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A total work of art is only possible in the context of the whole of society.

Everyone will be a necessary co-creator of a social architecture, and, so long as anyone cannot participate, the ideal form of democracy has not been reached. Whether people are artists, assemblers of machines or nurses, it is a matter of participating in the whole.

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Art can no longer be art today if it does not reach into the heart of our present culture and work transformatively within it that is, an art which cannot mould society — and through this naturally operate upon the core questions of our society — is not art.

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Everyone is an artist.

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I describe it ( the new aesthetics) 'radically': I say aesthetics = human being.

That is a radical formula. I set the idea of aesthetics directly in the context of human existence, and then I have the whole problem in the hand, them I have not a special problem, I have a "holography" (reacting on a former suggestion of the public as a slight joke, fh) I don't know exactly what a holography is.. (1973

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Money has to undergo a metamorphosis again, it has to relinquish its role in the market economy and engage in an economy of capacities. Then we would be concerned with human creative productivity. And we would come full circle, since each human being can then act within his company as co-creator of the future, can - in full dignity - contribute to shaping this future.

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So when I appear as a kind of shamanistic figure, or allude to it, I do it to stress my belief in other priorities and the need to come up with a completely different plan for working with substances. For instance, in places like universities, where everyone speaks so rationally, it is necessary for a kind of enchanter to appear.

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Art is not there simply to be understood. ... It is more the sense of an indication or suggestion.

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