Joseph Beuys

So kann die Parteiendiktatur uberwunden warden [In this way the Dictatorship of the Parties can be Overcome] (1971)

About this artwork

Beuys once stated; “I have nothing to do with politics – I know only art”, a sentiment which seems odd considering his political involvement. However, he viewed politics as part of an overall strategy for social change through the power of the individual. The early 1970s were a busy time for the artist. One of his campaigns was against party voting, arguing that political parties exploited the hard-working majority to the benefit of the minority who controlled the economy. With this in mind, the Braunkreuz cross at the centre of these felt sheets takes on the appearance of a cross on a voting paper , suggesting that the only way to overthrow the system is through voting.

see media
  • title: So kann die Parteiendiktatur uberwunden warden [In this way the Dictatorship of the Parties can be Overcome]
  • accession number: AR00623
  • artist: Joseph BeuysGerman (1921 - 1986)
  • gallery: On Loan
  • object type: Sculpture
  • date created: 1971
  • measurements: 115.00 x 85.00 x 7.80 cm
  • credit line: ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
  • copyright: © DACS 2016.
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms

Joseph Beuys

Joseph Beuys

German artist Beuys believed that art was integral to everyday life. His own art was shaped by an experience early in his life. As a Luftwaffe pilot during the war, Beuys was shot down over the Crimea and was saved by nomadic Tartars. Barely alive, he was wrapped in felt and fat which preserved his body heat, and taken to safety on sledges pulled by dogs. This incident, and these particular elements, informed much of his art, which has a redemptive, mystical and ritualistic character. Central to his work were his 'Actions', which involved teaching, audience discussion and performance. The recurrent themes were social and political. Associated with the ecological movement - he was a founder member of the Green Party - he also had a strong influence on German politics.