The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Monday, September 23, 2019


Joseph Beuys's 'Boxing Match for Direct Democracy' acquired by the Museum für Moderne Kunst
Joseph Beuys, Boxkampf für direkte Demokratie, 1972 © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2018. Photo: Axel Schneider.


FRANKFURT.- The Museum für Moderne Kunst announced the acquisition of the work Boxing Match for Direct Democracy (1972) by Joseph Beuys for the museum collection, and thus a further enhancement to the group of works by the artist already in the MMK holdings.

On the occasion of the documenta 5 taking place in Kassel in 1972 under the artistic direction of Harald Szeemann (with assistance from Jean-Christophe Ammann), a boxing match was staged at the Museum Fridericianum on the last day of the exhibition. The contenders in this closing documenta action were Joseph Beuys (1921–1986) and Abraham David Christian (b. 1952), a young art student of Kassel. In 1972, Beuys – who had figured prominently in all documenta exhibitions from 1964 onward –, had moved his Düsseldorf information office of the Organization for Direct Democracy by Referendum to Kassel for 100 days. He was in attendance at the office throughout this period, untiringly discussing the party system and the issue of direct democracy by referendum with the exhibition visitors. In this context he stated: “To engage in discussion is also an art form”, and in general he referred to “language as the first form of sculpture”. To Beuys, who always conceived of the museum as a venue for the ongoing exchange of views, the Office for Direct Democracy was his artistic contribution and the realization of his expanded concept of art as “social sculpture”.

The sculptor Abraham David Christian, likewise a native of Düsseldorf, had already challenged Beuys to a boxing match during a heated argument early on in the documenta 5. The match finally took place in the so-called Thinking Room by concept and nouveau realiste artist Ben Vautier at 3.00 pm on 8 October 1972. A classical boxing ring had been set up on a low platform at the centre of the room. The two opponents fought bare-chested, wearing boxing gloves. Christian also wore a leather head guard and a gumshield; Beuys remained unprotected except for the mitts. Before a large and enthusiastic crowd of spectators, he ultimately won the three-round match by scoring the most points.

The sculpture that came out of this action – Boxing Match for Direct Democracy – consists of a display case made of zinc sheet, measuring just 40 cm in height at a width of 515 cm and holding the relics of the boxing match. It set precedents for the documenta works of Joseph Beuys, who like no other artist contributed to shaping this major art exhibition until 1986. The socio-political approach he adopted in the early 1970s can be regarded as a yardstick for all subsequent documenta exhibitions up to the very present.

In 1978, Beuys remarked as follows on the boxing match: “I’m a fighter in general. Of course, in an age like the one we live in, in which man is geared for true freedom, this fight has to be different from ever before in history. It has to be shifted entirely inward; it has to be a fight of ideas, of the mind. Every other fight is a senseless fight. If I fight a boxing match, for example, like at the documenta 1972, then it’s a boxing match for direct democracy. In other words: a fight situation is played out for a few spectators. But symbolically, it expresses nothing other than this fight for a humane future.” (Joseph Beuys in conversation with Gerd Courts, Kölner Stadtanzeiger, 1978)

The MMK's Beuys holdings comprise the late work Lightning with Stag in Its Glare (1958–1985) as well as extensive series of photographs by Abisag Tüllman on the Iphigenie/Titus Andronicus action (1969) carried out by Beuys in Frankfurt, and by Hildegard Weber on the Stag Monuments (1986). Walter Cuntze's ten-minute film documentary Boxing Match for Direct Democracy by Referendum (1972), the Beuys print Democracy is Funny (1973) and the Rose for Direct Democracy (1973) are likewise in the museum collection.






Today's News

November 26, 2018

Egypt unveils ancient tomb and sarcophagi in Luxor

Hsia Yan's contemporary opus "After George Seurat's Sunday Afternoon" goes on the podium at Gianguan Auctions

Joseph Beuys's 'Boxing Match for Direct Democracy' acquired by the Museum für Moderne Kunst

Richard Serra's "Bilbao" donated to the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum

Metro Pictures opens Belavia, an exhibition by Paulina Olowska in the upstairs gallery

Laws of Motion: Gagosian Hong Kong opens a group exhibition

Exhibition examines eroticism in paintings and drawings of the male and female nude

Investors eye Revolutionary War-era stone farmhouse near Philadelphia to be auctioned Dec. 5

Sotheby's announces an auction dedicated to the history of science & technology

Nohra Haime Gallery exhibits Hugo Bastidas' recent series of large black and white paintings

Nine Madrid museums loan a selection of 28 works from their collections for exhibition

Some exceptional highlights of Chiswick Auctions' first Photographica sale next week

Queensland Art Gallery's flagship Asia Pacific Triennial opens

Weltmuseum Wien exhibits works by American artist Rajkamal Kahlon

Photographer Rafael Rios turned the lens on his family in new book published by Baque Creative Press

'Cats on the Page' opens at the British Library

Exhibition offers a photographic study of the daily life of Indonesian domestic workers in Hong Kong

Takashi Murakami brings to Shanghai new and recent creations

First solo exhibition in the UK by South Korean artist Hun Kyu Kim on view at The Approach

Cuban artist returns from a 40-year hiatus from making art with an exhibition

Australian Museum treasures come to life in a captivating new light and sound show

Hand in hand, Koreas seek to end UNESCO wrestling

Kunstverein Hannover opens an exhibition of works by art collective Slavs and Tatars

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lévy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful