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Joseph Beuys: Das Kapital 1970-1977

Silke Wünsch ct
June 17, 2019

In a room filled with chalkboards covered in formulas, Joseph Beuys created one of his most important works: an installation examining capitalism.


Fifty chalkboard slates are hung on a wall, their surfaces covered in chalked-in formulas. Alongside, a piano with an axe leaning against it, a zinc tub beside a watering can, a ladder, grease, film projectors. With this installation, Joseph Beuys substantiated his thesis, which was still considered quite radical in the 1970s: Capital actually lies in the creative power of every human being. Art against capitalism.

"Anyone who has not understood Beuys' meaning with this phrase has not understood Beuys and will never understand him," says Erich Marx. Marx bought the work for a "not too modest two-digit million sum" and left it on permanent loan to the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin. The installation "Das Kapital Raum 1970-1977" from 1980 is considered by many to be the legacy of the German artist who lived from 1921 to 1986. It can be visited at the Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart. 

Click here to see more videos from "Berlin's Treasure Trove – The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation."