Thursday, December 3, 2015, 6 pm
Joseph Beuys: Richtkräfte, 1974

With René Block (exhibition maker, Berlin) and Eugen Blume (head of the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin)
In German language
Venue: Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin
Meeting Point: Foyer


The work Richtkräfte einer neuen Gesellschaft (Directing Forces of a New Society) (1974) by Joseph Beuys is one of the major works of the collection of the Berlin Nationalgalerie. The approximately 100 panels marked with chalk come from a lecture held by Beuys at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London in 1974 as part of the exhibition Art into Society - Society into Art. The London action was initially shown by René Block as an environment in 1975 in New York and in 1976 at the Venice Biennale and was finally installed by Beuys in 1977 in the foyer of the Nationalgalerie. The work demonstrates Beuys’ discursive as well as visual art practice and is an expression of his expanded concept of art.

As early as 1964, René Block showed works of then unknown Joseph Beuys in his now legendary exhibition
Neodada, Pop, Décollage, Kapitalistischer Realismus. The following close collaboration of René Block and Joseph Beuys proved to be extremely productive. It was not least Beuys’ action I like America and America Likes Me (1974), opening René Block’s gallery in New York, that wrote art history.

Eugen Blume (b. 1951), since 2001, is the director of Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof - Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin. From 1981 to 1995, Blume worked as a researcher for the Kupferstichkabinett of Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and then moved on to the Berlin Nationalgalerie. Since 1993, Blume also engages himself in the set-up of the Joseph Beuys media archive.

René Block (b. 1942) is a gallery owner and curator. In 1964, he opened his first gallery in West Berlin and worked as a project manager of the visual arts and music section for the Berlin artists program of the DAAD (1982-1992). He headed the ifa Institute for Foreign Relations (1993-1995) and the Fridericianum in Kassel (1997-2006), he founded the exhibition space for Turkish art Tanas (2008) and was director of numerous biennials, including: Biennale des Friedens (Biennial of Peace), Hamburg (1985); Biennale of Sydney (1991); Istanbul Biennial (1995); Gwangju Biennale (2000).