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Working 'in the opposite direction': Joseph Beuys in the field

Working 'in the opposite direction': Joseph Beuys in the field
Working 'in the opposite direction': Joseph Beuys in the field
This paper will argue that revisiting the ideas and practice of the twentieth-century German artist Joseph Beuys is germane to contemporary discussions of place and human ecology in anthropology. Through an exploration of work undertaken by the artist and a discussion of the influence of Goethe on his practice, it will explore the way in which Beuys' approach to art was informed by a set of methodologies which saw the inner life of the human being and the outer world with which she or he engages as profoundly linked in both physical and psychic terms. Beuys' work points, the author will suggest, to the potential for a myth of fieldwork and a communication of its results that places the anthropologist within a constantly changing world of matter that she or he shapes and transforms and is, in turn, transformed by.
beuys, eco-anthropology, human ecology, materiality, transformation
1755-2923
22-43
Walters, Victoria
52527ce2-c30e-4aee-a3b9-65564ec792cb
Walters, Victoria
52527ce2-c30e-4aee-a3b9-65564ec792cb

Walters, Victoria (2010) Working 'in the opposite direction': Joseph Beuys in the field. Anthropological Journal of European Cultures, 19 (2), Autumn Issue, 22-43. (doi:10.3167/ajec.2010.190203).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This paper will argue that revisiting the ideas and practice of the twentieth-century German artist Joseph Beuys is germane to contemporary discussions of place and human ecology in anthropology. Through an exploration of work undertaken by the artist and a discussion of the influence of Goethe on his practice, it will explore the way in which Beuys' approach to art was informed by a set of methodologies which saw the inner life of the human being and the outer world with which she or he engages as profoundly linked in both physical and psychic terms. Beuys' work points, the author will suggest, to the potential for a myth of fieldwork and a communication of its results that places the anthropologist within a constantly changing world of matter that she or he shapes and transforms and is, in turn, transformed by.

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More information

Published date: 1 September 2010
Keywords: beuys, eco-anthropology, human ecology, materiality, transformation
Organisations: Winchester School of Art

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 349481
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/349481
ISSN: 1755-2923
PURE UUID: bcf6b638-567e-44b9-b239-3b451ad9b7eb

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Date deposited: 05 Mar 2013 16:42
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 04:41

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