how to explain western civilisation to a dead hare

how to explain western civilisation to a dead hare

 
 

Joseph Beuys 1965 Wie man einem toten Hasen Bilder erklärt

Joseph Beuys 1965
Wie man einem toten Hasen Bilder erklärt /
How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare

 

 


“If nature is imperfect and not to be trusted then neither is the body. St. Augustine’s contempt for the body which must above all be suppressed in order to discover Divine Truth; just another ideal conceptual model; helps to institutionalize a generalized contempt for the body and all its senses. It is less important for us here that, from a religious point of view, the fleshly body is subject to worldly temptations. This gave rise to the disciplining of the body, firstly through religious instruction and confession themselves and then through civil state institutions, and which continues today through sport (and the obsession with the “healthy body”) and chat-shows, for instance. Much work has been done on the discipline of the body in recent Western history, most notably by Michel Foucault. Perhaps more relevant here is the simple fact that because the body and its senses decay over time it therefore cannot be trusted. With the “death of God” in contemporary society the divine model has been replaced with another conceptual model, that of “scientific objectivity”, which being beyond both nature and the body (and its decay) becomes today’s only true reality.”

Excerpt from: How to Explain Western Civilisation to a Dead Hare:
Technological Fascism versus Ecological Realism

Catalogue Essay by Art in Ruins
(Full text download below)

 

 
 

NOTES:
First published as:
Menace of the Absolute: Technological Fascism versus Ecological Realism
Feature by Art in Ruins
Building Design No 1030 April 12 1991
Reprinted as:
How to explain Western Civilisation to a Dead Hare: Technological Fascism versus Ecological Realism [English] and
Wie man einem toten Hasen die westliche Zivilisation erklärt: Technologischer Faschismus gegen ökologischen Realismus [German]
Catalogue Essay by Art in Ruins
Krieg: 1st Austrian Triennale on Photography Landesmuseum Joanneum, Graz 1993