Events starting later this month at the Goethe-Institut Cyprus will mark what would have been the 100th birthday of German artist Joseph Beuys, who had an important impact on the sector in the post war period.

Within the framework of Beuys100, the events programme includes an exhibition, guided tours, film screenings, an online discussion and a round-table discussion between September 22 and October 23.

Action artist, activist, sculptor, draughtsman and professor at the Düsseldorf Art Academy, Beuys’ ideas, works and political commitment had a significant impact on the art landscape of the post-war period and on the formation of contemporary and socially-engaged art practices. The theory of sculpture is a methodology, which Beuys conceived and applied as a means rather than a medium, and his approach towards social sculpture influenced and inspired art practitioners and society, and still does. “His statement: ‘everyone is an artist’,” say the organisers, “developed as part of his social sculpture projects, feels more relevant than ever, relating to the urgency towards reforming social compositions.”

The Goethe’s Social Sculptures project kicked off with a workshop last April for local artists which drew from and challenged Beuys’ notion of social sculpture vis-a vis the context of our given time and place. The artists involved used different media, comprising of sound, sculpture, engraving, photography, installation, performance, some of which are participatory, and so on.

The works and actions created for the exhibition present social sculpture in its diversity and plurality. Sculpture is explored as a metaphor of movement, a metaphor we live by as society. Social Sculptures’ movement carries across compositions of reality. By sharing ways to get closer to the unceasingly forming and reforming of social compositions we are part of, the featuring artists grasp the notions of ‘social’ and ‘sculpture’ in their plasticity and resilience, organisers say.

Fractions of the exchange that took place during the workshop will be presented as part of the exhibition, serving as exercises that enabled a more intimate relationship between the featuring artists and the context they are revisiting.

The exhibition opening on September 22 will take place at 7pm with live performances while on September 29 a film screening will happen outdoors on Beuys directed by Andres Veiel. A guided tour of the exhibition will be offered on October 6 at 6pm and another on October 20. An online talk via Zoom with Rhea Thönges-Stringaris will take place on October 7 and later on in the month, two more film screenings will be hosted at Goethe Institut, on Tuesday 12 and Monday 18. The exhibition and the series of events will close on October 22 with a roundtable discussion with the participating artists and collaborating practitioners, moderated by the curator.

Social Sculptures

Exhibition and series of events celebrating Joseph Beuys 100th birth anniversary. September 22-October 23. Goethe-Institut Cyprus, Nicosia. Monday-Friday: 2pm-7pm. Saturday: 10am-2pm. Tel: 22-674606, [email protected]