PRESENTATION—Joseph Beuys—The Pack

The last day spent in College included our Lab session, in which we were asked to work in pairs producing a presentation on a work of art selected from the tate collection.

The partnerships were chosen randomly, by drawing names out of a hat, and I was paired with my colleague Ian Evans. There were four sets of two artworks, and one set was assigned to each pair of presenters (again, randomly). We received Joseph Beuys’ The Pack 0f 1969, and John Baldessari’s Hope (Blue) Supported by a Bed of Oranges (Life): Amid a Context of Allusions of 1991.

We were originally drawn to Baldessari’s work, but in a negative sense as he was an artist we each knew little about, but we soon reverted to Beuys – as much as we had distinct problems with his work, there just seemed to be more get your teeth into with him.

Baldessari’s work, on our (rather superficial) inspection, seemed to have little to say outside of its immediate context (which of course would probably be the point, and very typical of the art of his time). In itself the piece seems to deal with montage and collage, filmic references, the play of meaning of loose referents, it has some formal elements that could also be interpreted or connected to other works, as well as the piece’s own position within the development of Baldessari’s oeuvre.

Beuys, on the other hand, afforded a veritable cornucopia of material to work with.

The presentation itself was organized along our own particular areas of interest. Ian concentrated on the social and political aspects of the work, for which I have little interest, and I took the formal and museological direction.

The Pack by Joseph Beuys, on display at the tate Modern
Presentation by Ian Evans and Edward Sanderson
Goldsmiths College 14 December 2006
Recording – 20mins (Ogg Vorbis format – 15.7MB)


While working on the presentation, I was drawn to the presentation of the piece itself and started working through some analyses of the tate’s displays in relation to Beuys works from the Collection. Near the end of the recording there is a section on the positioning of The Pack and it’s relation to the audience and the audience’s relation back to the piece.

There was a lot that I looked into on this subject that wasn’t relevant to the presentation, given the time constraints, but I realised that this was something that really interested me and that I’d like to work up into a new post here, on the blog.

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PRESENTATION—Joseph Beuys—The Pack by escdotdot is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International

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