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Beuys, Joseph - Lightning with Stag in its glare

Identifier

021072

Type of spiritual experience

Background

A description of the experience

The Artistic Alchemy of Joseph Beuys – Dr David Adams

Beuys began using beeswax as an artistic material in the 1950s. He used it to demonstrate his theory of sculpture because it could easily be melted into an amorphous liquid state by warmth-or as a candle become a source of light and warmth-yet could also be cooled and hardened into definite forms, such as the crystallized geometry of the honey-comb.  He was further attracted to beeswax as a medium because it was produced by the bees "in an environment that has a certain organic warmth."

Beuys described these warmth processes of the bees: "The quality of warmth is there in honey, but also in wax, and also in pollen and nectar, because the bee consumes from the plant the thing that has the greatest possible quality of warmth. An alchemical process is going on somewhere in the flower, where the actual warmth process primarily develops, where fragrances are created, which disperse, and where nectar forms, which is really the plant's own honey."

As Steiner describes in the second lecture of this book, the process of melting and solidifying beeswax closely reflects what happens with a kind of wax in our own bodies and our blood circulation, and Beuys's theory of sculpture is ultimately a theory of human consciousness and creativity.

The source of the experience

Beuys, Joseph

Concepts and Symbols used in the text or image

Bee

Activities

References and further reading