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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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What Happens When Nothing Happens

What Happens When Nothing Happens

(p.139) 3. What Happens When Nothing Happens

Chris Thompson

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter details the meeting organized between Joseph Beuys and the Dalai Lama, and its aftermath. The meeting took place in Germany during the 1980s by one of Beuys’ contemporaries, Louwrien Wijers. Both her mentor, Beuys, as well as the Dalai Lama, share the same ideals of impermanence and compassion, although the meeting itself had proved inconclusive. Beuys had received no great insight on art and its capacity for social change—the historic event was, in a word, uneventful. Nothing happened and kept on happening, yet within this sphere of nothingness the two men were able to engage in an interhuman intrigue that would affect both Beuys and his fellow Fluxus artists for the years to come. And perhaps Beuys himself had, in some small way, been able to influence the political rift between China and Tibet in the years to come.

Keywords:   Joseph Beuys, Dalai Lama, Louwrien Wijers, Germany, social change, impermanence, compassion, Tibet, China

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