The Fluxus action Manresa (Düsseldorf, 1966) was a turning point in Beuys’s career. Based on photographs and documents, this publication reconstructs the materiality of the work and analyses its spiritual, political, artistic and geographical scope.
JOSEPH BEUYS – MANRESA. A SPIRITUAL GEOGRAPHY
English / ISBN: 978–84–944234–6–8
Spanish / ISBN: 978–84–944234–7–5
Catalan/ ISBN: 978–84–944234–8–2
18 x 24 cm
45 colour images 57 halftones
The first performances by Joseph Beuys were a radical turning point for twentieth-century art. Beuys saw art as a transformative action that is both personal and communal, and his expanded artistic practice engaged spirituality, personal mythology, political structures and symbolic materials. For MANRESA, one of his legendary performance actions, which took place on December 15, 1966 in Düsseldorf, he collaborated with the Danish artists Henning Christiansen and Bjørn Nørgaard.
This book presents unpublished materials from the performance, including texts, images, scripts and preparatory drawings, while contributions from scholars and critics offer further insight. Art critic and Jesuit priest Friedhelm Mennekes analyses Saint Ignatius of Loyola’s imprint on Beuys’s work, while elucidating its spiritual complexity, looking beyond the popular vision of the artist as shaman. Pilar Parcerisas examines Beuys’s spiritual geography, explaining the importance the town of Manresa has within it while also laying out the physical and mystical coordinates of Eurasia, a site that was always present in Beuys’s work. Klaus-D. Pohl addresses the paradoxical union between Beuys’s mysticism and the neo-Dadaists of Fluxus. Beuys’s collaborator Bjørn Nørgaardrecalls his time working with the German artist and reflects on the paths he opened up. Finally, art historian and curator Harald Szeemann considers the possibility of liberating politics through spirituality.
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).
Pohl is the former conservator for 19th and 20th century art and former director of the Hessisches Landesmuseum Darmstadt, the museum featuring the “Block Beuys”: seven rooms comprising a space the artist organised to show his work. He has also worked at the Nationalgalerie and the Deutschen Historischen Museum in Berlin. As a consultant for the Gallery of the Schader Foundation he curated a series of exhibitions entitled “Images of Social Change” (2007-2013).
(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.
(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.