In the spirit of the »Sculptural Democracy« project, Christoph Menke took a double look at Joseph Beuys and our political present or future. He brought Beuys’ reflections in manifestos and conversations to the point and questioned it. Beuys – it should be shown – is not concerned with democracy, as a noun, as a separate object, but with democracy as a politics of transformation of the social. Democracy is sculptural not as a transformation of government, but as a transformation of the (and the) governed, the social (and the subjects: a transformation of us).
But that is the problem: How is such a change conceivable and possible? Is a politics at all conceivable and possible that changes the social? What kind of event is the change of the social, and is this a political act? These are questions that Beuys asked and tried to answer. Examining the title term of the overall project – »Sculptural Democracy« – can help to understand these questions and answers.
Christoph Menkes at the lecture on Gustav-Gründgens-Platz, Photo: Screenshot video recording
Christoph Menke's lecture on Gustav-Gründgens-Platz in Düsseldorf during the kick-off of »Sculptural Democracy«, video commissioned by the Institute for Art History at the HHU, project »beuys2021« - editing: project office »beuys2021« and raumlaborberlin.