Beuys, Joseph - How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare 02
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
The Artistic Alchemy of Joseph Beuys – Dr David Adams
The Action raised questions about the possibilities of adequately explaining art or the world, and about what capacities would be needed for real understanding. Beuys commented:
"Using honey on my head I am naturally doing something that is concerned with thought. The human capacity is not to give honey, but to think-to give ideas. In this way the deathlike character of thought is made living again. Honey is doubtlessly a living substance. Human thought can also be living."
Gold is the metal of the sun, and Beuys was also indicating the potential for bringing a sun-like quality into thinking, a Christ-related theme that Steiner also spoke about. The hare, which literally digs into matter, represented the sharpened materialistic thinking of modern science that now needed to be filled by living, intuitive thinking. The fact that the hare was dead, recalls the repeated anthroposophical image of the deathly qualities of modern, abstract thought. Beuys spoke to an externalized part of himself (representative of all human beings), re-enlivening and reintegrating the dead thing that now existed outside himself as "object." At the same time, the hare represented a still authentic spiritual power alive in the animal world that human beings have largely forgotten.