Joseph Beuys: Periphery Workshop

documenta 6, 24-30 June 1977


This book is not yet published, but will be available from July 2022.

ISBN: 9783958299177 Category:

Joseph Beuys


On 27 April 1973, Joseph Beuys founded the Free International University for Creativity and Interdisciplinary Research, a staunchly anti-establishment institution designed to help individuals realize their creative potential (regardless of their social, economic and educational backgrounds); and for that creativity-through art-to foster social progress. As part of the university, Beuys staged an ambitious series of 13 workshops over 100 days at document 6 in 1977, including the Migrant Workshop, the Violence and Behavior Workshop, the Nuclear Energy and Alternatives Workshop, and-the subject of this book-the Periphery Workshop.

At the heart of the Periphery Workshop were, in Beuys’ words, the themes of “peripheral regions Europe / enlarging the EEC / France-German axis / common strategies for the regions and the Mediterranean countries.” In a collaborative and inclusive spirit, visitors from across the globe were invited to discuss and ask Beuys any question on these topics they might like. Beuys, ever the showman, was more than happy to answer, and not just with words. He filled dozens of blackboards with fascinating drawings, diagrams and thoughts-intricate artworks in themselves, and the basis of this book.

In places like universities, where everyone talks too rationally, it is necessary for a kind of enchanter to appear. – Joseph Beuys

Additional information

Weight 300 g
Dimensions 21 x 29.7 cm
Publisher name Steidl
Publication date 26 July 2022
Number of pages 112
Format Hardback
Contributors Photographs by Klaus Staeck and Gerhard Steidl
Dimensions 21 x 29.7 cm
Weight 300 g


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Widely regarded as one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century, Joseph Beuys (1921-86) was a sculptor, draughtsman, action and installation artist, as well as a teacher, politician and activist. After serving as a soldier in World War II, experiences that would strongly shape his practice, he studied sculpture at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, where he was made professor in 1961. From the early 1960s Beuys dissolved the difference between his biography and art, and increasingly employed his persona and charisma in what he deemed art's ultimate purpose: to radically democratize society. He called for the adoption of his universalist conception of art as a creative, transformative force within politics, science, philosophy and economics. Now as then, Beuys exerts a palpable influence upon artistic and political discourse.