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FeltFluxus, Joseph Beuys, and the Dalai Lama$
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Chris Thompson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816653546

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816653546.001.0001

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Rate of Silence

Rate of Silence

(p.85) 2. Rate of Silence

Chris Thompson

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter discusses Joseph Beuys’ take on the art of silence in contrast to that of Marcel Duchamp and his oeuvre. The efforts to “remake” Duchamp’s works within the context of Beuys’ “Social Sculpture” had become an obsession for the latter until the end of his life. Such a conflict was not a product of competition or petty rivalry. Duchamp’s work, Beuys felt, posed the fundamental questions of humanity without addressing or understanding them. Given that and the fact that Marcel Duchamp was widely considered an exemplary of his time, Beuys could not accept Duchamp as such. He simply could not ignore the impact Duchamp’s work would have of the role of art and artists in society. Art, to Beuys, is and should be a vehicle for social change.

Keywords:   Joseph Beuys, Marcel Duchamp, Social Sculpture, social change, society, art of silence

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