Joseph Beuys. Aktionen 1963–1986

Cover of the Publication »Aktionen 1963-1986«, 2022
Type of publication
Brochure, Monograph, CD-ROM/DVD
Author / Editor
Peter Weibel (ed.)
Publishing house, place
Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther und Franz König

The singular achievements of art in the second half of the 20th century are media art and action art. Action painting signaled the beginning of the performative turn in which Joseph Beuys plays a central role. In addition to his extensive and innovative oeuvre as a draftsman and sculptor, he was in fact the first artist to transform sculpture into a form of action, and with his concept of “social sculpture” he extended the concept of design from material into society. Beuys’s action art turned away from reductionist modernism and towards the whole of our lifeworld. This meant that his demonstrations often had a disruptive, unsettling, and provocative character. For over four years, the ZKM | Karlsruhe, in collaboration with the Joseph Beuys Estate and with financial support from the Kunststiftung NRW, worked on a DVD edition of the audiovisual recordings of Joseph Beuys’s legendary actions.

This edition offers the unique opportunity to view in chronological order film documents that were previously isolated and only accessible with difficulty or not at all. These are now being published by the ZKM as first releases or new editions. The DVD edition is accompanied by a book (520 pages) augmented with archival material (notes, photographs, drawings, scores) from the private collection of Joseph Beuys and with photographs of the actions that were not captured on film. The edition also includes an index of Joseph Beuys’s audiovisual media held at the ZKM.

For both scholars and private users, this compendium provides valuable visual and research material for approaching one of the most influential artists of the 20th century.

Cardboard box with 8 DVDs (running time approx. 10 hrs. 05 min.) + accompanying publication (brochure with open thread stitching, 520 p., numerous ill.) + index of audiovisual media by Joseph Beuys at the ZKM (brochure with saddle stitching, 24 p.); 18 x
Production / Corporation / Exhibition
ZKM | Center for Art and Media
Organization / Institution
ZKM | Center for Art and Media

Joseph Beuys Estate


Project Management: Hannah-Maria Winters
Design: 2xGoldstein

Kunststiftung NRW

Key topics

About the editors