Category Archives: Limited editions

A list artist

Joseph Beuys

Food for Thought 1977

Shown as part of Duchamp, Beuys, Murakami “A History of Editions” at the Emmanuel Perrotin Gallery, Paris

My life at the moment is an endless list. I don’t even have time to tick things off that I’ve done, or to read the list properly. Don’t worry though, ‘go on holiday’ is on my list and will be crossed off shortly.

One of the things to do on my list was to write a post about this list by Joseph Beuys at the Emmanuel Perrotin Gallery. I’ve only just got around to it and the exhibition ends on July 30th, so I’d better keep this brief.

I’ve always written lists. They used to be for fun stuff like Christmas presents I wanted or things to save up my pocket money for. Then after university they turned into to-do lists, oh how grown-up! Since I left my office job I’ve tried to make my lists more interesting mixing boring with fun e.g. 1, Monthly admin 2, Photocopying 3, Paint toenails.  I now know how interesting a month has been by the ratio of fun to boring stuff that’s been ticked.

Beuys’s list has the title ‘Food for thought’. It starts as a list of food. This initially interested me not just because I was hungry, but also because I love food shopping. The novelty of French markets and supermarkets still hasn’t worn off.

As I worked my way down this list I realised it had a much deeper meaning than shallow first impressions. The list of tinned foods evolves into a short prose and then folk verse. Perhaps I should add this literary element to my lists, inspiring me to work through them quicker and go out and have more fun.

So to get this job ticked off, here is a list of my instant thoughts about the exhibition as they came to me. If you are confused, go and see it yourself and it will all become clear:

1, Joseph Beuys was amazing

2, A photograph of this list isn’t really going to work on the blog but I’m going to use it anyway

3, Felt is so calming to look at

4, Wow a set of miniature lifts, perhaps for mice…

5, …and a tunnel to take you to the second half of the gallery

6, Murakami prints = disappointing, overpriced and uninspiring

7, Hmmm…OK the whole point of the exhibition is to sell the Murakami prints for thousands of Euros each

8, It worked, look at all the red stickers

9, They aren’t originals, they’re limited edition prints. It’s like Athena in here

10, Anyone who buys them has more money than sense and knows nothing about art

11, Maybe I’m just jealous

12, Actually, I don’t mind this one of wise old men with beards

13, Urgh what is that one doing? Oh no don’t look at that it will burn your retinas

14, Now a huge dog is walking around the gallery

15, Its owner is trying to get it to eat coal

16, Time to leave

This post also appears on Artsharks


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