Beuys, Joseph - Honey Pump 01
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
The Artistic Alchemy of Joseph Beuys – Dr David Adams
A later Beuys project that involved honey was his Honey Pump at the Workplace installation in 1977 at the large international art show "Documenta 6" in Kassel. This installation ran for the hundred days of the exhibition June 24th to October 2nd and was presented as part of the introduction of another Beuys initiative-the establishment of the Free International University for Creativity and Interdisciplinary Research. For this project two ship's engines, 220 pounds of fat (margarine), and a steel container holding two tons of honey were installed in the stairwell of the Museum Fridericianum and linked through clear plastic tubing to the large curved space where a busy program of discussions, seminars, lectures, films, and demonstrations of the Free International University took place throughout the one hundred days. During these events the honey was pumped through a network of tubing that circulated above the hall.
Beuys explained his basic idea as follows:
With Honey Pump I am expressing the principle of the Free International University working in the bloodstream of society. Flowing in and out of the heart organ-the steel honey container-are the main arteries through which the honey is pumped out of the engine room with a pulsing sound, circulates round the Free University area, and returns to the heart. The whole thing is only complete with people in the space round which the honey artery flows and where the bee's head is to be found in the coiled loops of tubing with its two iron feelers.
By associating the warmth quality of the natural substance honey with the warm nature of the blood, Beuys suggested that warmth of feeling and will, as well as alert and self-present minds, were necessary for successful Free University discussions.