Joseph Beuys

Show Your Wound

1977–84

Artist
Joseph Beuys 1921–1986
Original title
Zeige deine Wunde
Medium
Photographic negative
Dimensions
Support: 327 x 450 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
AR00094

Not on display

Online caption

This negative image shows a pair of dissecting tables which were used in the 1974-75 installation 'Show Your Wound'. Beuys created the installation in a dark and dingy pedestrian underpass in Munich, where the sounds of traffic overhead and harsh glare of neon lights were an integral part of the atmosphere created. Above the tables are two rectangular metal boxes, their placement suggesting the position of 'heads' to bodies lying on the beds. Beuys used double images and objects to refer to death, and the divisions within people and society. As he had suffered a heart attack in 1975, the allusions to death and inclusion of the tables (as used in a mortuary) are particularly striking.

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