On Friendship/(Collateral Damage) IV

How to Explain Hare Hunting to a Dead German Artist
[The usefulness of continuous measurement of the distance between Nostalgia and Melancholia]
(September 2021 - December 2022)
A critical project concerning post-war artist Joseph Beuys Created by Joseph Sassoon Semah, curator Linda Bouws © Stichting Metropool Internationale Kunstprojecten

Introduction
In 2021/22 the 100th anniversary of the birth of artist Joseph Beuys will be celebrated in Europe, among others with the special event 'Beuys 2021. 100 years'. Twelve cities and twenty institutes in Noordrijn Westfalen in Germany will be organizing exhibitions, theatre and other activities to celebrate this anniversary. (see for more info https://beuys2021.de/en ).
Joseph Heinrich Beuys (1921, Krefeld - 1986, Dusseldorf) is one of the most influential German post-war artists, who became particularly famous for his performances, installations, lectures and Fluxus concerts. But who was Beuys truly? Joseph Beuys mythologized his war history as a National Socialist and Germany's problematic and post-traumatic past. After Word War ll Beuys transformed himself from perpetrator to victim. His service in the Luftwaffe did not offset his artistic practice. During this 100-year's event none of these controversial aspects of Beuys' work, values and ideas are focused upon. As part of this celebration, it is high time to add a more critical eye on Beuys' work and his relationship to Germany's post-war history.

Project
'On Friendship / (Collateral Damage) IV -How to Explain Hare Hunting to a Dead German Artist [The usefulness of continuous measurement of the distance between Nostalgia and Melancholia]' ('Hasenjagd' is the code word for killing Jews during World War II) centers on Joseph Beuys and Joseph Sassoon Semah takes us on a journey of critical analysis of Beuys. Linda Bouws is the curator.
Art cannot be seen disengaged from society - which political, social and cultural implications does Joseph Beuys' work show us? How do work and politics relate in Beuys' work, what is myth and what is reality? Did Beuys free art of power and financial gain or did he use his art with the purpose to forget or idealize his own war history and that of Germany? Does his transformation from perpetrator to victim fit into post-war Germany? How did Beuys use his 'visual codes', that have disappeared, and secret symbols? How must we interpret Beuys in this celebratory year 2021?
Joseph Sassoon Semah, has done extensive research into Joseph Beuys' work, values and ideas and based on this research and texts he will analyse the deeper meaning of the (secret) symbols used by Joseph Beuys for 'On Friendship / (Collateral Damage) IV- How to Explain Hare Hunting to a Dead German Artist [The usefulness of continuous measurement of the distance between Nostalgia and Melancholia]'. He will react to them using new monumental sculptures and a series of old and new drawings, performances, texts and meetings.
This project wants to raise public awareness about the missing information on Joseph Beuys. Information that has been disregarded during this celebratory year or has been evaded to avoid uncomfortable confrontations. A new project about the reading of Beuys' 'shrouded' art by the Jewish-Babylonian artist Joseph Sassoon Semah. We will cooperate with among others with Gerard-Marcks-Haus Bremen, Landgoed Nardinclant/Amsterdam Garden, Goethe-Institut Amsterdam, Duitsland Instituut Amsterdam, Lumen Travo Gallery, Redstone Natuursteen & Projecten, and The Maastricht Institute for the Arts. After completion of the manifestation a complementary publication will be compiled.

The project is realised in part with the support of Mondriaan Fund, the public fund for visual art and cultural heritage and Redstone Natuursteen & Projecten.
  

PROGRAMM

LANDGOED NARDINCLANT-AMSTERDAM GARDEN, Houtweg 25, 1251 CS Laren,
13 September -24 October 2021 exhibition, meeting, performance, guided tours12.00-16.00 p.m.
(registration is mandatory through https://amsterdamgarden.com/garden/art-route/)
Exhibition 'Nature and Aesthetics', Redefined, happening, Meeting, guided tours 12.00-16.00 p.m. At Landgoed Nardinclant-Amsterdamgarden our first activity of the new project 'On Friendship / (Collateral Damage) IV- How to Explain Hare Hunting to a Dead German Artist [The usefulness of continuous measurement of the distance between Nostalgia and Melancholia]', will take place.

At the first art exhibition 'Nature and Aesthetics', Redefined', of the Landgoed Nardinclant which is more than hundred years old, the perspective will be the relationship between humans, nature and aesthetics. In his on site-specific shown art Joseph Sassoon Semah will analyze and criticize the deeper meaning of the (secret) symbols used by Joseph Beuys.

Joseph Sassoon Semah, amongst other with Reference presentation Joseph Beuys, '7000 Eichen' (documenta 7, Kassel, 1982).


Oak tree 100 cm, stone of Jerusalem 150 cm

Joseph Beuys planted 7000 oaks through the city of Kassel, each paired with a stone. The project was seen as a gesture towards green urban renewal. In Landgoed Nardinclant Joseph Sassoon Semah planted an oak and stone from Jerusalem and shows the sources of this work.
Ref: Joshua 24(26) 'And Joshua recorded these things in the Book of Law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the Lord.' 

A temporary MaKOM in MaKOM (place/house) will be shown that is a symbol for GaLUT (Exile). A place of shelter that connects refugees worldwide.

24 October 2021-14.00 p.m. Lecture Roel Arkesteijn: Art and Ecology. Expanding the concept of Joseph Beuys' 7000 Eiche.

Since the late 1960's and early 1970's, many visual artists developed artistic strategies to reclaim, re-purpose and redevelop territories which had been degraded by industrial use or otherwise inappropriate human activities; to foster ecological change; or to otherwise employ inventive methodologies to physically transform local ecologies. Whereas few of them are still widely recognized today, such as Robert Smithson and Joseph Beuys, many of these artists are still largely unknown to a wider visual art audience, or have nowadays even fallen into oblivion.
Departing from his practice as a museum curator who has showcased many of these ecologically and socio-politically engaged artists, in his lectur.

Roel Arkesteijn will contextualize and try to shed new light on Joseph Beuys' project 7000 Eichen in Kassel, Germany. Introducing some of the Biblical, literary and visual artistic sources of 7000 Eichen, Arkesteijn will also reference Joseph Sassoon Semah's interpretations of this German artist. Roel Arkesteijn is a curator and author interested in forms of artistic engagement, art for social change, and activism. From 2008-2021, he has been working as a curator of contemporary art at Museum Het Domein in Sittard, the Netherlands, where he drew attention to artists who are engaged with social or political issues, are interested in gender problems, act as bridge builders between different cultures, or actively intervene in ecological situations. Within this framework, he has made exhibitions of, among others, Fernando Bryce, Sarah Vanagt, Mel Chin, Leon Golub, Roger Ballen, José Bedia, Jota Castro, Mark Dion, Eugenio Dittborn, Patricia Johanson, Brandon Ballengée, The Yes Men, Koen Vanmechelen, Betye Saar, Basia Irland, Nils Norman, Chéri Samba and Joseph Sassoon Semah.

GOETHE-INSTITUT AMSTERDAM, Herengracht 470,
Amsterdam 28 October 2021- 23 December 2021
Joseph Sassoon Semah - Exhibition 'On Friendship / (Collateral Damage) IV' 
Monday-Friday, 10.00 -17.00 p.m.
See for more information Goethe-Institut

GOETHE-INSTITUT AMSTERDAM, Herengracht 470, Amsterdam 28 October 2021, 20.00 pm,
Performance and Meeting Mati Shemoelof (Poet, Author, Editor, Journalist, Berlin & Joseph Sassoon Semah, EN

Discussion about the creative activities of Joseph Beuys adhere to Eurocentric culture in general and to post-war German culture in particular. And yet, what will happen when two Iraqi Jews, i.e. Babylonian Jews - who live in two European capitals, Berlin and Amsterdam, respectively - decided to deconstruct Beuys's post war art production. Could we give these two guests who became our host free speech,and should we listen to their desire to reclaim the Jewish Babylonian tradition from Joseph Beuys's art? Most of the research on Joseph Beuys artistic activity has been generated by theories concerning Eurocentric culture, values and experiences, however this time we have the opportunity to hear other voices, a different reading that criticizes Beuys' work. See for more information & Tickets Goethe-Institut

GOETHE-INSTITUT AMSTERDAM, Herengracht 470, Amsterdam 11 November 2021, 20.00 pm, Performance and Meeting Joseph Sassoon Semah & Rick Vercauteren Joseph Sassoon Semah On Joseph Beuys and Wolf Vostell: Zwischen Dichtung und Wahrheit, EN

Joseph Beuys manifested himself post-war as the new Messiah, as a healer, as a shaman for the Germans, to free himself as perpetrator and free the Germans of their guilt. Vostell embodies the victim and claims to embody the German guilt, to fill the vacuum that the genocide left behind. Wolf Vostell claimed since the early 1950's that his mother was a Sephardic Jew. However, it wasn't until many years later that scholars began to inquire about Wolf's 'fabricated' autobiography. Joseph Sassoon Semah and Rick Vercauteren will focus on the German artist duo Joseph Beuys and Wolf Vostell. See for more information & Tickets Goethe-Institut

The project is realised in part with the support of Mondriaan Fund, the public fund for visual art and cultural heritage and Redstone Natuursteen & Projecten.

LUMEN TRAVO GALLERY
Lijnbaansgracht 314, Amsterdam
Joseph Sassoon Semah - solo exhibition On Friendship / (Collateral Damage) IV - 15 January - 17 February 2022

On March the 12th 2022, the artist and his friends have perform the new piece "I Am the Resistance".
"CORRIDORS" text PDF...
I AM THE RESISTANCE
....every year I am born anew
in the ninth month
my mother groans less loudly
while each year my groans
sound more anguished
an old fool will never believe that
I give my story my own voice
my own speechless voice
in the midst of the crowd
to the last drop of ink

ADIEU
flowers and babies
that's my address
a picture on the wall

"...We only know that there is no escape from Language - yet which all of us can trace to its source.
But also, without a doubt - the existence of the Guest emphasizes particularly when he is in close proximity to the impulse of Joseph Beuys to represent himself as a post-war Victim, as an Artist, and finally as a certain Redeemer and Healer."

Performance:
Joseph Sassoon Semah with friends:
Baruch Abraham
Masja Austen
Peter Baren
Jom Semah

 

DUITSLAND INSTITUUT, UvA:
BUSHUIS - OOST-INDISCH HUIS, UvA, Installation Joseph Sassoon Semah: 24 March - 24 June 2022
SPUI25 - 7 april 2022, 17.00 hrs

Meeting: Footnotes accompanying the work of Joseph Beuys and Joseph Sassoon Semah EN.
A Meeting with Hans Peter Riegel (Switzerland), Dr. Arie Hartog (Director Gerhard-Marcks Haus Bremen) and Joseph Sassoon Semah, under the direction of Professor Ton Nijhuis (Director DIA) Keynote speech by Hans Peter Riegel, author of the four-part critical biography about Joseph Beuys, 'Beuys,Die Biografie', the standard reference to Beuys.

How must we interpret Beuys in this celebratory year 2021/22?

Art cannot be seen disengaged from society.
Which political, social and cultural implications does Joseph Beuys' work show us?

Does his transformation from perpetrator to victim fit into post-war West-Germany?

What role do the West-German art world and politics played to promote Joseph Beuys to one of the most influential post-war artists?
Did Beuys free art of power and financial gain or did he use his art with the purpose to mask or idealize his own war history and that of Germany?

What is myth and what is reality in the artworks of Beuys and the legend he created around him?
Do works of art lose their magic when the imagery is based on a myth and lies?

How did Beuys use his 'visual codes' and secret symbols in his artworks?
Do works of art lose their magic when the imagery is based on a myth and lies?

MAARTEN LUTHER KERK, Dintelstraat 134, Amsterdam
15 mei 2022, aanvang 15.30 uur, Opening Tentoonstelling, Performance en Bijeenkomst
15 mei t/m 15 juli Tentoonstelling, bezoek op afspraak 

Programma 15 mei:
15.30 uur: Welkom Dr. A.H. Wöhle, President Evangelisch-Lutherse Synode in de Protestantse Kerk
15.45 uur: Performance Joseph Sassoon Semah en zijn vrienden en tentoonstelling bezichtigen
16.15 uur: Meeting met o.a. Andreas Wöhle en Joseph Sassoon Semah: Joseph Beuys en Christus impuls
17.15 uur: Afsluitende borrel 


'...............a land flowing with milk and honey', 2022
Performance Joseph Sassoon Semah and Friends
Maarten Luther Kerk, Amsterdam 15 May, 2022

In het werk van kunstenaar Joseph Beuys is de christelijke iconografie een van de belangrijkste thema's, met name de Christus impuls.
Hij gebruikt objecten die staan voor het geestelijke zoeken, de moderne devotie: de crucifix, een wandelstok, een vogel, een haas.
Door te lijden ontstaat het vermogen tot scheppingskracht "kunst is een geestelijke act die telkens opnieuw moet gebeuren."
Beuys werd sterk beïnvloed door de antroposoof Rudolf Steiner, "Christus-ich Kraft". Voor Steiner was de fysieke incarnatie van Jezus aan het begin van de tijdrekening een eenmalige gebeurtenis.
Steiner noemt dit de 'Christus impuls' en 'het mysterie van Golgotha'. 

Welk Christusbeeld had Beuys voor ogen? Hoe verhoudt zijn Christusbeeld zich tot zijn kunst?
Welke invloed had Steiner op zijn werk?
Hoe reflecteert Joseph Sassoon Semah in zijn kunstwerken op Joseph Beuys?
Hoe kijkt Andres Wöhle naar Beuys, Steiner en Joseph Sassoon Semah?



Er wordt samengewerkt met o.a. Maarten Lutherkerk, Gerhard-Marcks-Haus Bremen, Goethe-Institut Amsterdam, Duitsland Instituut Amsterdam/UvA, Lumen Travo Gallery, Deutsche Bank, Landgoed Nardinclant-Amsterdamgarden, Redstone Natuursteen & Projecten, Geestelijke Gezondheidszorg Amacura, The Maastricht Institute for Arts. 

DEUTSCHE BANK Amsterdam
May 24 2022 Opening with performance, De entree 195, 1101 HE Amsterdam

Joseph Sassoon Semah neemt ons mee in zijn kritische analyse van kunstenaar Joseph Beuys, een van de meest invloedrijkste naoorlogse Duitse kunstenaars. Op basis van zijn onderzoek analyseert Sassoon Semah de diepere betekenis van de (geheime) symbolen die Joseph Beuys gebruikt. Hij reageert daarop met nieuwe monumentale sculpturen en een reeks tekeningen, performances en teksten.

On Friendship / (Collateral Damage) IV How to Explain Hare Hunting to a Dead German Artist
[The usefulness of continuous measurement of the distance between Nostalgia and Melancholia]
(September 2022 - December 2022)

A critical project concerning post-war artist Joseph Beuys.
Created by Joseph Sassoon Semah, curator Linda Bouws May 24 2022, Deutsche Bank Amsterdam De entree 195, 1101 HE Amsterdam
[The usefulness of continuous measurement of the distance between Nostalgia and Melancholia]

Please remember, 'Hare Hunting' was a [codeword] euphemism for killing Jews by the Nazi troops during the Holocaust. According to Jewish tradition, the hare is among mammals deemed not kosher, and therefore not eaten by (observant) Jews.

As will be clear, Jose[f]ph Beuys who always already surrounded himself by old Nazis has managed to promote himself as the (symbolic) Victim of the Third Reich in the (extended) territory of Post- Nazi West Germany. Jose[f]ph Beuys who volunteered to sacrifice himself for the ideology of the Third Reich - succeeded to transform himself symbolically as it were, into the great healer of post-Nazi-Era, and with him, West Germany will cure itself.

Therefore, as a consequence of the need to further the authentic status of The Guest - The Guest was forced on 24 February 1986, to correct the statement of Jose[f]ph Beuys': "Wie man dem toten Hasen die Bilder erklärt / How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare" 26 November 1965. Since then, it should be read as follows - How to Explain Hare Hunting to a Dead German Artist / Wie man einem toten deutschen Künstler die Hasenjagd erklärt".

Finally, if the Guest is the symbolic Dead Hare, he may in the [end] has a Voice - in such a context obviously, the Guest's conversation with the Dead German Artist changes in significance - because the words of the Guest already shifted to a certain power; That is the Guest's / the Jew's power to transform Jose[f]ph Beuys the ex-Nazi soldier from a self-made Victim to his original status i.e. the Victimizer. Basically, we should remember that the actual transformation from a Victimizer to a Victim takes place in radical circumstances. In our context, this implies that the transformation of post-war Jose[f]ph Beuys into a Victim took place in Post-Nazi West Germany; Eventually, it would be tempting to say that the authentic Victim 'The Guest' i.e., The Jew, cannot be defined by his Victimizer.


Performance Joseph Sassoon Semah with friends:
Baruch Abraham
Masja Austen
Peter Baren
Bülent Evren
Jom Semah

GERHARD-MARCKS-HAUS
AM WALL 208, BREMEN
April 2022 – February 2023

Joseph Sassoon Semah: How to Explain Hare Hunting to a Dead German Artist
4 interventions by the artist

Joseph Sassoon Semah (b. 1948) has been a regular guest at the Gerhard-Marcks-Haus since 1997. "Guest" is a central term to his art. He is a descendant of the last Chief Rabbi of Baghdad and now lives in Amsterdam. As an Arab Jew, he presents a perspective on the history of modern art that is shaped by his origins. In doing so, he both critiques and complements our thinking. In 2022 and the beginning of 2023 we will present four interventions by this artist.

When Sassoon Semah lived in Berlin in the late 1970s, he became interested in how German artists processed the subject of the Holocaust. This led to research into the work of Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) and Wolf Vostell (1932-1998). Vostell was one of the first artists in Germany to integrate photos of the mass murder into their artworks, while with Beuys it was primarily the "interpreters" who discovered references to it in his works with fat and felt. Sassoon Semah is also interested in the role-playing of the two artists, for example when Vostell dressed as an Orthodox Jew in order to refer to a culture that had been destroyed in Germany and Europe, or when Beuys showed a Hitler salute, that was then reinterpreted as art. In the group of works shown in the Gerhard-Marcks-Haus Sassoon Semah refers to famous works of these artists and interprets them through this.

The drawings and sculpture demonstrate how Sassoon Semah reads and develops images. The cross-section of the railroad track (the logistics of mass murder) can also be interpreted as a Hebrew letter, literally transgressing the common reading. In Jewish iconography, the horns recall Abraham's rejection of human sacrifice. As musical instruments played at important ceremonies in the synagogue, they refer to the deeds of man and sometimes to the redemption of the people of Israel. Sassoon Semah invites museum visitors - most of whom have some Christian background - to immerse themselves in a world of imagery that is unfamiliar to them. By radically reinterpreting European artworks, he turns them into places of exile for a vanished culture.


Na afloop van de manifestatie wordt een complementaire publicatie samengesteld.

Metropool International Art Projects
Contact: Linda Bouws
lindabouws@gmail.com
Mob +31(0) 620132195