Living with a Coyote in a Gallery

There is just something interesting about a Nazi living in a New York gallery with a live Coyote for three days… Thanks to Kriston Capps for pointing out in his Whitney Biennial review. Photo and photo caption from here.


“This photograph by Caroline Tisdall is from Joseph Beuys: Coyote, a 1976 book recently published in a new edition by Shirmer/Mosel. The book documents Joseph Beuys’ 1974 performance art piece, Coyote: I Like America and America Likes Me, in which the artist spent three days and nights caged with a wild coyote in René Block’s New York Gallery.” To see a not-quite-interesting-enough-to-make-it-worth-watching-such-a-long-video documentary about the artist and the project, click here.

[Note: in response to the first comment I added attribution for the quote below the image. In response to the 2nd comment I fixed apostrophes in my own comment.]

Author: Robert Bettmann

Founder of Day Eight, and the DC Arts Writing Fellowship.

5 thoughts on “Living with a Coyote in a Gallery”

  1. Hi,

    Beuys was not a Nazi. Nothing I wrote should be construed to support that statement.


  2. You did not say it. Wikipedia says it, the video alludes to it, and I’m saying it. From Wikipedia:

    “As of 1936, Beuys’ membership in the Hitler Youth is documented; the organization comprised a large majority of German children and adolescents at that time and later that year membership became compulsory. He participated in the Nuremberg rally in September 1936, when he was 15 years old.[2]…..

    In 1941, Beuys volunteered for the Luftwaffe.[5] [The Luftwaffe is the Nazi Air Force.]….

    In 1942 Beuys was stationed in the Crimea and was a member of various combat bomber units. From 1943 on he was deployed as rear-gunner in the iconic Ju 87 “Stuka” dive-bomber, initially stationed in Königgrätz, later in the eastern Adriatic region. Drawings and sketches from that time have been preserved and already show his characteristic style.[1] On 16 March 1944 Beuys’s plane was shot down on the Crimean Front and crashed close to Znamianka, (then “Freiberg”).

    Whether or not he was only following orders….whether or not all Nazis were, in effect, Nazis… is not a question worth my or my family’s time. He was a Nazi. (and frankly, smuggled in and out of new york city in the 1970’s I’m thinkin he was aware that people might see him that way.)

  3. hate to get all militant vegan on you, but what about the \wild\ coyote? i know they can be nuts and all, but i’m really glad that groups like PETA exist today. the whole idea of this project – the so-called artist, the gallery that supported him, whomever obtained the coyote – it all kind of makes my blood boil.

  4. Dear Militant Vegan –

    Yeah, I agree that it’s too bad about the wild coyote being brought to participate in an art project in Manhattan. Maybe they just borrowed if from the bronx zoo…

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