dissensus’s inaugural houston event, “i like houston and houston likes me: a tribute to joseph beuys,” will take place friday, april 4 at 6:30pm at alabama song.
the event is free and open to the public.
free beer will be provided by st. arnolds. (thank you!)
in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of german avant-garde artist joseph beuys' debut american 1974 performance "i like america, and america likes me," we have invited some of houston's finest writers, artists, and musicians to join us in conversation, exploration, and celebration of some of beuys's key works and concepts. a screening and discussion of this seminal work, commonly known as "coyote," will be followed by a brief discussion of beuys's presence in the united states presented by linda shearer.
a series of preformances will follow intended to highlight beuys's art theoretical ideas regarding alchemy, animisim, human power fields, and his radical concept of social sculpture.
thoughts from patricia:
i have long been allured by twentieth-century german thinkers, artists, and writers, and this obsession intensified during the last couple of years while I was living in Berlin. when I moved back to Houston earlier this year, i was skeptical about how long houston’s contemporary art scene could satiate me. however,i quickly realized that houston is home to a burgeoning experimental and engaged arts community. even more appealing, houston appeared both hungry and open to new voices, and rachel and I were anxious to get in on the action. when we began to discuss themes for our inaugural event, we quickly agreed that an inquiry into the legacy of joseph beuys was relevant given his exploration of the nexus of art and politics. additionally, 2014 marks not only the fortieth anniversary of his first “aktion” in the united states but also the tenth anniversary of the beuys show at the menil. given the amount of time that has elapsed since these beuysian landmarks, we wanted to see how his works have resonated with twelve houston-based artists, performers, and thinkers. By uniting such a multiplicity of voices, we will highlight how members of the houston arts community have appropriated, questioned, and perhaps destabilized many of his central concepts, such as human power fields and social sculpture. this event is a celebration of the varied responses to an artist whose post-war European context might seem far removed from the current Houston climate, yet whose radical rethinking of the spheres of politics of art remains fresh and germane.