Chapter: Joseph Beuys and Feminism in the USA – Social Sculpture Meets Consciousness Raising
Cara M. Jordan
There are numerous ways that Cypis’ work can be contrasted with Beuys’ practice, much of which owes to their differing cultural and historical contexts. Cypis was reacting to the disastrous effects of neoliberalism on a vulnerable section of the population in a localized area, rather that seeking to ameliorate a universal social problem by establishing a revolutionary framework using art, as Beuys had done. The effects of her efforts are highly individualized to those involved in the center, and their broader resonance in society is anecdotal. Further, Cypis does not consider Kulture Klub an artwork, but instead describes the project in terms of her work as an artist. She has relinquished her authorial role to that of the team, emphasizing the creative production of her collaborators and privileging the representation of their experience over her own (this is highlighted by her rare presence in photos of their activities.) Though her artwork had once been intensely personal, a reflection of the constructed self within society, her work as a cultural mediator now provides the space for others to find their own modes of expression.
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