/// 1972/1981 /// Installation
/// Joseph Beuys

With his claim “everyone is an artist”, (1970) Joseph Beuys was the first to clearly put into question the monopoly held by the artist and considered art a gift in all people. With this emancipation of the layperson he stood at the beginning of a democratization of art which has since become realized in the global net. It was from this participation of everyone in the creative process that Beuys was also to derive his idea of “direct democracy”.
For his participation in documenta 5, 1972, Joseph Beuys moved his office for “The Organization for Direct Democracy by Popular Vote” to Kassel for 100 days and held daily discussions about art with exhibition visitors. The name of the office hung above the door in illuminated light blue neon lettering. When Beuys dissolved the organization nine years later, the neon nameplate was packed into an oblong wooden case with an open top together with four large transformers and a copy of the circuit diagram for the neon tubes for the work ÖÖ. However, instead of the nameplate of the organization, as additional accessory, only two neon Ö’s shone in the case. Ö-sounds were performed by Beuys since 1964 as guttural sounds repeated as an acoustic element in various performative actions.
(Text: Andreas Beitin)

Joseph Beuys (*1921 in Krefeld, † 1986 in Düsseldorf), 1947–1952 studies in painting and sculpture and, from 1961–1972 Professor at the State Academy of Art, Düsseldorf. In addition to drawings, sculptural objects and spatial installations, he participated in Fluxus Actions from 1963. Participated in all documenta from 1964. Founded several organizations, among which was the Deutsche Studentenpartei (1967), the Organization of Non-voters, Free Popular Vote (1970) and the Free Academy in Düsseldorf with Heinrich Böll (1974). Beuys was to coin another extended term which was to include the social, ecological and political role of the artist.

Joseph Beuys, ÖÖ, 1972/1981, installation, neon, cable, wooden box, photographs, Baccara Rose, Ludwig Rinn Collection