Ja, jetzt brechen wir hier den Scheiss ab (Yes, Now We are Tearing the Shit Down), nicknamed also Coyote II, was the highly charged culmination of the Beuys – Block duo dynamics. A deeply self-referential project, weaving together aural, visual and haptic fragments from all the past phases and previous manifestations of the Beuys – Block collaboration of the last 15 years (going back to 1964) in an engrossing environment. As expected the René Block gallery could only “go down” with a bang such as this. This event marked also a turning point (the last) of Beuys’ career, which was about to enter a whole new phase (him being the Kaiserring-Goslar winner in September of 1979) with the big Guggenheim retrospective later in November, before moving on to the expanded projects and the ‘controversial’ institutional involvements of the 1980s.
This lot comprises the following
a. “Ja, jetzt brechen wir hier den Scheiss ab”
Berlin: Galerie René Block, 1979 (08), 10,6×14,8 cm. Exhibition / action invitation card published in conjunction with the opening of the exhibition which would be the last of René Block’s gallery. Features recto a photo of the action Der Chef from December 1964 by Jürgen Müller-Schneck. Der Chef, apart from marking the beginning of Beuys – Block relationship is the “first time that an Action is performed not in the context of a festival but in the controlled environment of a gallery (…) Beuys also, for the first time, inscribes his body into sculpture.” (Rosenthal; Rainbird; Schmuckli, 2004). (…) “Beuys insisted that his performance must last for the length of a normal working day. Beginning at 4 p.m. and continuing until midnight on 1 December it was designed to oppose concepts of traditional authority.” (Cooper, 2019). The original action was followed by an “endless discussion” that was eventually broken off by Beuys. The ‘motto’ “Ja, jetzt brechen wir hier den Scheiss ab” was a phrase used in a 1964 radio broadcast regarding the event which was recorded by Block. Fast forward into 1979, this ‘original’ recording was looped at one minute intervals through a “brown-cross loudspeaker box” standing on a grey iron desk.
This is a mailed example of the card in rather fair condition. It is clean with light discolouration verso but there is some creasing apparent with the notable presence of a vertical crease in the middle of the card as if it was haphazardly folded in two.
b. Joseph Beuys and René Block, Galerie René Block, 21. Aug. 1979
Berlin: s.p., 1979 (08), 17,8×23,9 cm (full sheet). Original photograph by Klaus Hemme. Artists’ portrait. Date stamped verso along with photographer’s stamp, minimal handwritten notes and small label pasted with archival (?) reference. Dual portrait of Beuys and Block on the opening of Ja, jetzt brechen wir hier den Scheiss ab. In Near Fine condition.
c.Abbrucharbeiten mit Beuys / “Lebenskoforme” Ehrung
2 newspaper clippings from September 1979 pasted recto verso on a single A4 sheet for previous archiving. Abbrucharbeiten mit Beuys: René Block schließt seine Avantgarde-Galerie in Berlin is a lengthy piece by Laszlo Glozer covering the “Ja, jetzt (,,,)” exhibition published on its closing day (hand-dated 15/16.9.79). “Lebenskoforme” Ehrung: Joseph Beuys erhielt in Goslar den Kaiserring is a piece by Ursula Bode on the winning of the Kaiserring-Goslar award (hand- dated 10.9.79).