On the top floor of ‘Gegenwart’ there was an exhibition on the legendary and controversial German artist Joseph Beuys (1921-1986). He used a rather wide definition for art: ‘Doing the right thing in the right place and at the right time. That is art.’ Certainly an interesting definition, but, to be honest, I was not impressed by his art work. It seemed dull, boring and grey.
The exhibition included some films. One of them showed Beuys in a performance with a dog, entitled ‘I Like America and America Likes Me’. It was situated somewhere in New York. I found it difficult to understand or appreciate. Was this really a right thing in the right place? It seems impossible to answer that question, so we are left with empty hands.
Beuys is one of those artists who gives preference to the message of his art. He is a representative of the so called ‘conceptual art’, in which the concept in the work take precedence over the more usual aesthetic, technical, and material characteristics.