The exhibition title Ticket to the Future. Joseph Beuys, Katinka Bock, Christian Jankowski, Jon Rafman already implies the visionary power of art and its social function. In the year of what would have been Joseph Beuys’s 100th birthday, the state of North Rhine-Westphalia has initiated the project beuys2021, which, in cooperation with numerous institutions throughout the state, presents the artist, his life and his work.
Based on his Multiples, the Kunstmuseum Bonn—which owns an almost complete collection of Beuys’s Multiples—focuses in its exhibition on the artist’s three main themes: Beuys as a draftsman, nature as a metaphor for social processes and Beuys’s theoretical reflections and actions. These themes each form the starting point for an interaction between Beuys and one contemporary artist: Katinka Bock, Christian Jankowski and Jon Rafman. The encounter between the young artists’ works and those of Beuys is, however, not to be understood as a continuation. It rather provokes critical observation, re-thinking or reversal, friction or even the break with Beuys’s thinking. This is precisely where the relevance and topicality of the new perspectives introduced by Beuys from the 1960s onwards lies. The “Ticket to the Future,” which lends the exhibition its title, serves us as food for thought in accordance with the idea of Beuys’s Multiples, to virally penetrate society.