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Prof. Dr. Verena Kuni  M. A.

Kunst·Medien·Kultur - Theorie·Praxis·Vermittlung


Art·Media·Culture - Theory·Practice·Transfer






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Entered Apprentices, Master Artists. Masonic and Esoteric Heritage in the Work of Joseph Beuys and Matthew Barney

Vortrag | Lecture
im Rahmen der Konferenz | in the framework of the conference
"Masonic & Esoteric Heritage. A New Perspective for Art and Conservation Policies ", Royal Library, Den Haag, Oct 20 & 21, 2005 | 20./21.10.2005

Matthew Barney's Cremaster Cycle is obviously rich in references on Western esoteric cultural heritage – among them the strong focus on Freemasonry and Masonic Ritual in Cremaster 3. While within the movie's narration, Richard Serra is being presented as the "Master artist/architect" whose position the "Entered Apprentice" is aiming to reach and to overcome, when taking a closer look at Barney's work as a whole another "Master artist" comes into mind: Joseph Beuys.
However, what on the first glance seems to relate the young American artist with his famous German colleague all too directly should not be blended hastily into one.

Following the traces of Masonic heritage in both the work of Barney and Beuys, it can be shown that – rather than direct references within the operating system of art that nevertheless can be witnessed, too – different threads of modern esoteric traditions are responsible for the astonishing parallels in both their artistic language and hermetic imagery.
At the same time, it can be shown that what could be considered as a common attitude of "artistic esotericism" needs to be carefully analysed within the framework of the history of esoteric traditions, including a differentiated analysis of the role of Masonic heritage within these traditions as well as of its influence on cultural history and modern art history as such.

tags: Matthew Barney, Joseph Beuys, anthroposophie, anthroposophy, art & hermetism, art & media, art & occult traditions, art history, artists' myths, bild & imagination, cultural history, esoteric traditions, esoterische traditionen, geheimgesellschaften, image & imagination, invisibility, kulturgeschichte, kunst & hermetik, kunst & medien, kunst & okkulte traditionen, kunstgeschichte, künstlermythen, occultation, okkultation, performance, secret societies, spiritism, spiritismus, spiritualism, subject & authorship, subjekt & autorschaft, topologien, topologies, unsichtbarkeit

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