FIU Stamp Transparant

Waldo Bien


  Art in the future tense.   Interdisciplinary Research.   Social Sculpture.

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Joseph Beuys, La Rivoluzione siamo Noi


Raum 20 Klasse Beuys (The Beuys Class).
Beuys is Professor at the Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf from 1961 until 10-10 1972, the day on which he is discharged by the Education Minister Johannes Rau, for political reasons. Together with his students Beuys occupies the secretary's office of the Art Academy to contest the decision about the enrolment of students who have been refused admittance. He refers to a previous Senate decision which states that every teacher has the right to admit as many students to his, or, her, class as he, or she, sees fit. The sacking of Beuys is the beginning of a long legal and ideological dispute which is finally settled in favour of Beuys, with a judgement handed down at the highest legal level. The Beuys class is a site of transformation for a whole generation of outstanding artists - Sigmar Polke, Tadeus, Blinky Palermo, Katharina Sieverding, Reiner Ruthenbeck, Jörg Immendorf, Lothar Baumgarten, Immi Knoebel, Michael Rutkowsky, Anatol, Walter Dahn, Felix Droese, Johannes Stüttgen, Anselm Kiefer, and so on. The Beuys Klasse has several classrooms or working spaces at its disposal. Classroom 20 is one of the largest and becomes a central meeting place. The weekly 'group discussions' in which everyone is seated in a circle and accessible to everyone attracts a very diverse audience, especially on Friday, they are eagerly awaited meetings that no one likes to miss, and everyone is invited to make an active contribution, either in the form of an art-work, by commentary, suggestions or participating in the discourse.



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Michael Rutkowsky 1971


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Düsseldorf, photo Jacobus KloppenburgLava (1972)

Düsseldorf, Ratingerstrasse. Long ago Napoleon marched with his army into the city over this street. Around the corner lived the widow of a long forgotten opera baritone, in her run down 17th century house, one of the few that had survived the war bombardments. Inside, wallpaper shreds flaked from its walls. In the house hung the smell of centuries of bourgeois dining. Through the front windows one could see the Palace of Justice and the scary green police cordons, every time a member of the R.A.F, the Red Army Fraction, was brought to trial. In her kitchen, at the left, a window gave a view onto the piles from a scrap metal dealer. As result of this life long outlook, her voice had turned the same frequency as the piled up metals. While she stood conducting in the staircase, we, ‘the young art students’, dragged for twenty Deutsch Mark the giant Biedermeier wardrobe, and the bales with opera costumes downstairs. We could hear him sing in the far distance.
Half a year later another crate went downstairs. This time she was in it herself. The crate was simple and no one had sung.

During the day he had to split his time between jobs and the academy, reading Brecht and Lao Tse in between. The nights were spent on low shore, because one can’t always be out at sea, and because there’s nothing like a quay.. At night he worked in dubious bars that even Napoleon could remember, where life was spinning and barrels  of Alt beer emptied with a constant flow in quarrelling throats. The air was pregnant with the smoke of black tobacco and weed.
He worked in a long small kitchen, as wide as a railroad wagon. At the stern, the smaller wall at the end, was a serving- hatch cut out to the size of a televiDüsseldorf1, photo Jacobus Kloppenburgsion screen. It could not be closed and so gave a fixed view on a section of the pool table. This serving- hatch was their television, a gateway into the greasy smelling kitchen through which orders would penetrate, demanding daily specials, pancakes, pea soup, with intermezzo’s of rolling balls, along with screams and rock. and roll. They stirred in pots and pans, two hands on large wooden spoons. The grinding sound of feet on sand ,sprinkled over the  slippery  blue grey tiles of the floor.
They’d done their best to turn the menu to the better. Against the owner’s greedy instructions they had put more sausage in the soup. This would make her appear on their TV in endless complaints. But since the human soul is not a drainpipe in which things disappear without leaving a trace, they had drowned her annoying complaints in beer and weed.
 Tonight, in the turmoil of running business, they’d warned her not to appear on screen again with her constant bad weather report. To show that what was said was real, some pancakes and omelettes had flown through the kitchen and the vein delta’s at their temples had been swollen like rivers in demokratiebeuys200heavy rain. Emil, his colleague from Köln, had angrily pulled his moustache, than dropped two whole sausages into the next bowl of soup and pushed trough the serving hatch, waiting for the avalanche to come. She screamed like hungry seagulls on a winter’s day.
The cooks had looked at each other, relaxed. Something threatening hung in the air. In a synchronic movement they took the kitchen towels from their left shoulder, walked up to the kitchen stove. A large kettle was carefully taken from the fire. Foot by foot they crossed the kitchen, the door, the corridor and into the saloon where the rock music swelled like nearing a waterfall. They’d lifted the pea soup kettle onto the pool table and poured. Green lava slow flowed over balls and table. A large chunk of good German sausage disappeared into one of its pockets. All customers were exited and applauded. ‘She’ became pale, had dropped herself backwards onto a lazy chair and groaned; “red swine’s, red swine’s  that’s what you are”.