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The elements shown in this vitrine were acquired by Tate as individual works. Beuys later decided to place them together to match the groups of objects in the other two vitrines, which he had designed himself. Several of the sculptures incorporate bronze castings of a female torso, originally carved in wood by Beuys. In Bathtub for a Heroine, the figure is combined with an electric element and a copper cast of a mammoth's tooth. In Animal Woman, she seems to merge with a piece of industrial piping; while in Bed she floats suspended between the jaws of a clamp. Fat Battery consists of various fat and felt elements, combined by Beuys to suggest the shape and function of a battery, reflecting his concern with the generation and storage of energy.


May 2008