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Monuments to the future: social resonance in the art of Joseph Beuys

Fisher, Allen (2008) Monuments to the future: social resonance in the art of Joseph Beuys. In: Imperfect Fit Aesthetic Function, Facture, and Perception in Art and Writing since 1950. University of Alabama Press.

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Abstract

This chapter focuses on the work of Joseph Beuys exhibited in the German Exhibition at the Royal Academy, London in 1985; in the Anthony d’Offay Gallery in the same period; and at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1983. The essay uses the term ‘facture’ to shift the sacrosanct meanings of such words as ‘make’ or ‘create’, which often imply deistic completions or finished products. This decision derives both from Joesph Beuys’ ideas of process in his art and its meanings, as well as the contemporary discussion which wishes to include the viewer in the production process of the art. I have taken the concept of ‘function’ from Jan Mukarovsky to assist in understanding the intersections of functions (such as æsthetic and spiritual) in Beuys’ art.

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