RE-ENACTMENT OR HOW TO MINGLE PROJECT- BASED LEARNING AND SELF-UPRGRADE IN PRACTICE BASED -HIGHER EDUCATION INSPIRED BY JOSEPH BEUYS TEACHING EXPERIMENTS
Modern art is dead. There is no postmodernism.
Now the anthropological art begins.
Joseph Beuys 1984
Joseph Beuys (1921-1986), the European artist most identified with shamanism, created ritual performances and objects with the intent to heal (Levi Strauss, 1999).
On June 30, 1982- as part of his contribution to documenta 7, Beuys melted the gold copy of the crown of Tsar Ivan the Terrible into the symbol of peace, of a Sun Rabbit. The money earned from this performance was the basis for financing the project of the 7,000 oak trees with granite rock on the famous alley in Kassel.
In addition to the continuous fascination for the art and personality of this artist, this performance inspired me with its potential as a working theme for a sculpture class, given its aspects of applicability in practical, technical, formal, and non-formal education.
We started with a simple animal modeling theme, where the students chose, mostly involuntarily, an animal that seemed closer to them. They modeled, then made simple mold, silicone rubber mold for wax loosing casting process, then made the forms for casting.
In December 2019, these works were poured at the foundry.
I was going to ask them, in the logic of things, to choose another animal (totem) that represents them. Then we model again make molds for casting with the new totems, but melt for casting the first bronze animals, - which surely would be a pain and loss for the, then we would pour them in another casting technique (the one with ceramic shell) in bronze again.
This process, inspired by the action of J Beuys, was meant, in addition to familiarizing them with plaster technology, transposition and bronze casting techniques, but non the less to model in the subsidiary their personality, character and especially the attitude that I consider to be the must have compared to art: continuous experimentation and self-transcendence.
The re-performance, so controversial and used in contemporary art, had in this case a role of disinhibition, of accommodation with one's own body as an artistic tool. Finally, this step was one of the many through which I wanted to introduce the notion of re-enactment to the class.
Re-enactment, unlike re-performance (which allows the re-use of a famous performance as a way of expressing a new idea or as teaching material in art schools) is extremely often used in everyday life, even without we realize.
Re-enactment can also be considered the Easter procession, the cycle of winter holidays, the holidays, and traditions around the equinox, etc. These elements always have a psychological role in the life of the individual and in the life of communities, considering cyclicality, renewal, etc.
At that moment in our lives, we did not suspect that this topic would be completed online for a reason that took us all by surprise and unbalanced us equally as an individual, institution, system, or society.
The sculpture theme that began with transposition technologies ended with a pandemic diary, thus becoming the conclusion of a complex exercise of transformation and long way towards self-knowledge.
After a year we prepare an exhibition with this material at the Romanian Goethe Institute in Bucharest, at the Pavilion 32 Exhibition Hall. Our project opened the Joseph Beuys Centenary events.
So, after one hundred years more or less, how come this genius sculptor-performer-shaman-healer-esoteric still can inspire and bring new methods in art based higher education?
Totemtieren @ lect.univ.dr. Reka Csapo Dup,
The National University of Arts Bucharest,
Students: Adina Cotarcea, Alis Mihăilescu, Katy Năstase, Silviu Petrescu, Carmen Sămârtean, Bogdan Ștefan, Larisa Tofan, Gabriel Vierașu.
7 January 2021 Bucharest
Holland, Alison. – Joseph Beuys & Rudolf Steiner, National Gallery of Victoria, 2007 – ISBN 9780724102914
Richter, Petra- Mit, neben gegen, Die schuler von Joseph Beuys, Richter Verlag, Dusseldorf- ISBN 3-933807-07-7
Abreu, Joseph Guillame, - L'emergence de la Gnose dans l'art. Rencontres Abellio 2016
Antonio Caronia, Jnez Jansa, Domenico Quaranta, - RE:akt!Reconstruction, Re-enactment, Re-reporting.LINK Edition, Brescia 2014 – ISBN 978—1-291-65094-5