Joseph Beuys

In this Way the Dictatorship of the Parties can be Overcome

1971

Artist
Joseph Beuys 1921–1986
Original title
So kann die Parteiendiktatur überwunden werden
Medium
Felt, wood and glass
Dimensions
Frame: 830 x 1150 mm
Acquisition
ARTIST ROOMS Acquired jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
Reference
AR00623

Online caption

Beuys once stated ; 'I have nothing to do with politics – I know only art', a sentiment which seems odd considering his political involvement. However, he viewed politics as part of an overall strategy for social change through the power of the individual. The early 1970s were a busy time for the artist. One of his campaigns was against party voting, arguing that political parties exploited the hard-working majority to the benefit of the minority who controlled the economy. With this in mind, the Braunkreuz cross at the centre of these felt sheets takes on the appearance of a cross on a voting paper , suggesting that the only way to overthrow the system is through voting.

You might like