At the Munich Kammerspiele in 1985 Joseph Beuys contributed to the series Reden über das eigene Land: Deutschland (Lectures on One’s Country: Germany). In his lecture, Beuys pointed out that he develops his works “starting from language”. Beuys viewed language as the equal of sculptural means, a plastic material through which each individual could participate in a re-ordering of society with their body, mind, and communicative behavior. Beuys engages with a wide variety of linguistic phenomena, from silence to extended discussions, from beastly-sounding noises to precise conceptual analyses and enigmatic writings.
On the 100th anniversary of Beuys’ birth the Hamburger Bahnhof is making language the focus of an exhibition that encompasses sculptures, drawings, installations, films, posters and documents from the collections of the Nationalgalerie, the Sammlung Marx, the Kupferstichkabinett and the Kunstbibliothek – including the cycle The secret block for a secret person in Ireland and the installation Das Kapital Raum 1970–1977.