Over-drawings of a photo documentary about Joseph Beuys' work “I like America and America likes me”
each 20.4 × 26.4 cm (framed by the artist)
Inv. No. 0427a-t
In 1974 Joseph Beuys decided to travel to New York without setting foot on American soil. For his Act “I like America and America likes me,” he had himself wrapped in felt after arriving at LaGuardia Airport and taken into the city by ambulance. At a gallery he locked himself in with a coyote. For three days he performed like a shepherd or shaman with a shepherd's crook and felt cape. Gottfried Bechtold, who had been in contact with Beuys since documenta 5 in 1972, cut the pages out of a book with Caroline Tisdall documenting the action. The b/w photos are edited, at one point with opaque white, another time with pencil, still another time with black ink. Sometimes Bechtold uses fine sandpaper and acetone to buff away the printer's ink. Felt-tip pens appear: as an 'educational pattern' and 'isolation device'. Cloudy tones or holes in the head emerge, mystery in the coyote's gaze, as in film noir.
Thomas D. Trummer, 2021 (translation: Virginia Dellenbaugh)Continue reading