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Beuys, Joseph - The Beehive as a symbol of the ideal society

Identifier

021053

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

In order to understand the sculpture one has to realise the tripod is a key part and it represents the three worlds.

A description of the experience

Beuys, Joseph – The Beehive as a symbol of the ideal society

The Artistic Alchemy of Joseph Beuys – Dr David Adams

Beuys once spoke of the bee cult as an ... allusion to socialism as practiced in the big watch- making cooperatives of the Republic of the Bees at La Chaux-de-Fonds. There you can still see many sculptures of bees on the walls and foundations, as symbols of socialism. This does not mean mechanistic state socialism, but a socialist organism in which all parts function as in a living body. In physiological terms this is not hierarchical: the queen bee's place lies between head and heart, and the drones become the cells which are constantly renewed. The whole builds a unity which has to function perfectly, but in a humane warm way through principles of cooperation and brotherhood.

Bakunin, Marx, and Maeterlinck had all drawn similar analogies. Yet Beuys was clear that a colony of bees differs significantly from human society because it is not composed of independent individuals.

 "The bee is one cell in the whole organism, just like a skin cell or a muscle cell or a blood cell. The best analogy is with the blood cells that swarm through the whole body…..Seen that way, my body is also a perfectly functioning state."

Thus, Beuys championed Steiner's ideal of a social organism that would be threefold in structure like the human being.

The source of the experience

Beuys, Joseph

Concepts, symbols and science items

Concepts

Aggregates

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Suppressions

Believing in the spiritual world
Honey
LOVE

Commonsteps

References