Laura, 26. Based in WLG, NZ.
'I Like America and America Likes Me 1974, Joseph Beuys
Beuys’s most famous Action took place in May 1974, when he spent three days in a room with a coyote. After flying into New York, he was swathed in felt and loaded into an ambulance, then driven to the gallery where the Action took place, without having once touched American soil. As Beuys later explained: ‘I wanted to isolate myself, insulate myself, see nothing of America other than the coyote.’ The title of the work is filled with irony. Beuys opposed American military actions in Vietnam, and his work as an artist was a challenge to the hegemony of American art.
Beuys’s felt blankets, walking stick and gloves became sculptural props throughout the Action. In addition, fifty new copies of the Wall Street Journal were introduced each day, which the coyote acknowledged by urinating on them. Beuys regularly performed the same series of actions with his eyes continuously fixed on the coyote. At other times he would rest or gather the felt around him to suggest the figure of a shepherd with his crook. The coyote’s behaviour shifted throughout the three days, becoming cautious, detached, aggressive and sometimes companionable. At the end of the Action, Beuys was again wrapped in felt and returned to the airport.
For Native Americans, the coyote had been a powerful god, with the power to move between the physical and the spiritual world. After the coming of European settlers, it was seen merely as a pest, to be exterminated. Beuys saw the debasement of the coyote as a symbol of the damage done by white men to the American continent and its native cultures. His action was an attempt to heal some of those wounds. ‘You could say that a reckoning has to be made with the coyote, and only then can this trauma be lifted’, he said.’

'I Like America and America Likes Me 1974, Joseph Beuys

Beuys’s most famous Action took place in May 1974, when he spent three days in a room with a coyote. After flying into New York, he was swathed in felt and loaded into an ambulance, then driven to the gallery where the Action took place, without having once touched American soil. As Beuys later explained: ‘I wanted to isolate myself, insulate myself, see nothing of America other than the coyote.’ The title of the work is filled with irony. Beuys opposed American military actions in Vietnam, and his work as an artist was a challenge to the hegemony of American art.

Beuys’s felt blankets, walking stick and gloves became sculptural props throughout the Action. In addition, fifty new copies of the Wall Street Journal were introduced each day, which the coyote acknowledged by urinating on them. Beuys regularly performed the same series of actions with his eyes continuously fixed on the coyote. At other times he would rest or gather the felt around him to suggest the figure of a shepherd with his crook. The coyote’s behaviour shifted throughout the three days, becoming cautious, detached, aggressive and sometimes companionable. At the end of the Action, Beuys was again wrapped in felt and returned to the airport.

For Native Americans, the coyote had been a powerful god, with the power to move between the physical and the spiritual world. After the coming of European settlers, it was seen merely as a pest, to be exterminated. Beuys saw the debasement of the coyote as a symbol of the damage done by white men to the American continent and its native cultures. His action was an attempt to heal some of those wounds. ‘You could say that a reckoning has to be made with the coyote, and only then can this trauma be lifted’, he said.’

photo posted 2 years ago with 127 notes
tagged: Joseph Beuys Coyote Tate Modern Art
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  7. sincewhendoessheblog reblogged this from bloodyunbowed and added:
    ‘I Like America and America Likes Me 1974, Joseph Beuys Beuys’s most famous Action took place in May 1974, when he spent...
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  13. shiramario reblogged this from sassyfrasscircus and added:
    I love Joseph Beuys almost as much as I love Zombie Joseph Beuys.
  14. wickedkvnt reblogged this from trash-nymph and added:
    Hahah, yes you are. :P
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  17. faerielandsforlorn reblogged this from trash-nymph and added:
    newspacecadet:garconniere:fewershades: ‘I Like America and America Likes Me 1974, Joseph Beuys Beuys’s most famous...
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  20. andibgoode reblogged this from tsarevich and added:
    Oh man, Joseph Beuys. I will say this makes a LOT more sense with all of this context (pretty sure my lecturer never...
  21. methodanne reblogged this from motorcitykitty
  22. raggedndirty reblogged this from oldkingcrow and added:
    STORY
  23. toothandnail reblogged this from garconniere and added:
    the best.
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  28. trash-nymph reblogged this from every-sound and added:
    am i lame because i’ve only heard of this because of an episode of this american life?? hahha.
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