HENNING CHRISTIANSEN, BJØRN NØRGAARD - MANRESA HAUPTBAHNHOF. AN HOMAGE TO BEUYS AND LOYOLA
English / ISBN: 978–84–124162–2–0
Spanish / ISBN: 978–84–124162-1-3
Catalan/ ISBN: 978–84–944234–9–9
18 x 24 cm
130 colour images 5 halftones
Joseph Beuys performed one of his most radical pieces, the action Manressa, on December 15, 1966, at the Galerie Schmela in Düsseldorf. He was accompanied by the Danish artists Henning Christiansen and Bjørn Nørgaard, who, in 1994, created Manresa Hauptbahnhof (Manresa, Central Station), a new performance in homage to the original. The performance was carried out in Manresa, the city that both gave the name to the original action and was where Saint Ignatius Loyola had the revelations that led him to write his Spiritual Exercises, which Beuys considered essential reading.
This book brings together all the material related to the 1994 performance—including images, scripts, and preparatory drawings—as well as a selection of critical texts that situate the action within its European context. In one essay, Friedhelm Mennekes analyses the action by delving into its spiritual meaning, exploring the symbolism of the objects employed. In another, Pilar Parcerias uses the metaphor of the central station to discover the city of reference and redraw the map of Europe with unexpected connections between Manresa and Copenhagen. In the final essay, Peter van der Meijden contextualizes the two performances, which represented a meeting place for different artistic personalities working on the cutting edge in creating a new form of art.
(Copenhagen, 1932 - Mön, Denmark, 2008)
Christiansen was a Danish composer who was part of the Fluxus movement. He collaborated with artists such as Nam June Paik, Bazon Borck and Wolf Vostell, and with Joseph Beuys in his actions in the 1960s and 1970s, such as Manresa (1966), Eurasienstab (1967-1968) Haupström (1967) and Celtic (1970), amongst others. He was convinced of the need to move beyond the limits separating artistic disciplines. With his wife and habitual collaborator in his performance work, Ursula Reuter, he represented Denmark at the 2001 Venice Biennale.
(Copenhagen, Denmark, 1947)
Nörgaard is an experimental artist influenced by Beuys, who he met in 1966 and with whom he collaborated on the action Manresa (1966).
He works in different formats, with the aim of elaborating critical reflections on culture, politics and society, whether through sculpture, performance, festivals, cinema, painting, graphic arts or architecture.
He is one of the most important and recognized living Danish artists, both in his own country and internationally.
(Bern,1933 - Tegna, Switzerland, 2005)
An art historian and exhibitions curator, Szeemann was the Director of the Bern Kunsthalle (1961-1969) and the creator of the “Museum of Obsessions” and “The Agency for Spiritual Migrant Work”. He was head curator of Documenta 5 in Kassel (1972), the Aperto of the Venice Biennale (1980) and of exhibitions such as Live in your Head: When Attitudes Become Form (1969), Les Machines Célibataires (1975), Gesamtkunswerk (1983), Zeitlos auf Zeit (1988), and the Venice Biennale in 1999 and 2001, amongst others. As a collaborator of the Zurich Kunsthaus he was curator of the Joseph Beuys retrospective (1993-1994). He is considered one of the most influential figures in the art of the second half of the 20th century, contributing to the redefinition of the role of the art curator.
A Jesuit priest with a PhD in Philosophy and professor of Theology and Religious Sociology at the Sankt Georgen Graduate School of Philosophy and Theology in Frankfurt am Main;
and at the University of Mainz, Friedhelm Mennekes is an international authority on the dialogue between contemporary art, religion and politics.
The director of Kunst-Station Sankt Peter centre for contemporary art in Cologne, which he founded in 1987, he has dedicated himself to the transmission of the confluence between art and spirituality with numerous exhibitions on Joseph Beuys, Francis Bacon, Eduardo Chillida, Antoni Tàpies, Antonio Saura, Cindy Sherman, Hermann Nitsch and Jenny Holzer, along with lectures and articles.
Mennekes was the co-curator of the exhibition Manresa Hauptbahnhof [Manresa Central Station], and participated in the action that took place in Manresa in 1994.
His publications feature Joseph Beuys: Eine Aktion als geistliche Übing zu Ignatius von Loyola (1992) and Joseph Beuys: Pensar Cristo (1997).
An independent exhibition curator and art critic, Pilar Parcerisas has a PhD in Art History and a BA in Information Sciences, and is cofounder of the newspaper Regió-7. She has curated more than fifty exhibitions dedicated to conceptual art and to leading artists such as Joseph Beuys (Manresa Hauptbahnhof [Manresa Central Station] and Diary of Seychelles), Adolf Loos, Dalí, Duchamp and Man Ray, and has organized thematic exhibitions such as Accionisme vienès[Viennese Actionism]. She has published Conceptualismo(s). Poéticos, políticos, periféricos: En torno al arte conceptual en España (1964-1980) and Duchamp en España, as well as numerous texts on art in books and catalogues; she has also written screenplays for film. Parcerisas was President of the Associació Catalana de Crítics d’Art [Catalan Association of Art Critics] (2007-2010) and served as a member of the Consell Nacional de la Cultura i de les Arts [National Council of Culture and the Arts] (2009-2019).
PETER VAN DER MEIJDEN
Art historian, writer and curator. He holds a Ph.d. from the University of Copenhagen, where he also lectures about museology, curating and contemporary art. His research focuses on ephemeral art forms from the 1960s, particularly Fluxus, happenings, Mail Art and Conceptual Art and their legacies, and museology/cultural heritage. Among his publications are “Not Incorrect and Particularly Not Irrelevant: Joseph Beuys and Henning Christiansen, 1966-71” (Tate Papers, 2019), “Message in a Bottle to Systembolaget” (Perspective, 2017) and “Fluxus Art Amusement and the Museum of Gags: Objectification and Bafflement, Encounter and Engagement at the Museum” (Nordic Journal of Museology, 2017).