Joseph Beuys’ Titus Andronicus/Iphigenie

Joseph Beuys’ Titus Andronicus/Iphigenie, performed on 30 May 1969 in the Theater am Turm in Frankfurt, for Experimenta 3. Wearing a fur coat, Beuys appeared on a darkened stage with a white horse. He used the myth and the drama of Iphigenia to draw attention to the freedom and the creativity of the individual.



Playwright Peter Handke wrote a review of the piece for Die Zeit (13 June 1969):  “The further the event becomes […] the more the horse, the man walking around on the stage, and the voices from the loudspeakers become a vivid picture that might be called a desired ideal. In the memory, it seems branded into one’s own life, an image that makes one feel nostalgic and want to work on such images for oneself – for it is only as an after-image that it begins to take effect within oneself. An excited calm comes over one, only thinking about it; it stimulates one, it is such a painfully wonderful feeling that it becomes utopian – that is, political.”



“Never regret thy fall,
O Icarus of the fearless flight
For the greatest tragedy of them all
Is never to feel the burning light.”
Oscar Wilde

“Laments of an Icarus

The paramours of courtesans
Are well and satisfied, content.
But as for me my limbs are rent
Because I clasped the clouds as mine.

I owe it to the peerless stars
Which flame in the remotest sky
That I see only with spent eyes
Remembered suns I knew before.

In vain I had at heart to find
The center and the end of space.
Beneath some burning, unknown gaze
I feel my very wings unpinned

And, burned because I beauty loved,
I shall not know the highest bliss,
And give my name to the abyss
Which waits to claim me as its own.”
Charles Baudelaire

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