Arts Joseph Beuys, Pop Star, Death Metal Lyricist
posted by March 22 at 13:13 PMon
Metropolitan Museum curator and sometime NYT and Slate critic writes about why it’s so hard to find video art online, and then, thankfully, shares what you can find.
Check out the 61-year-old Joseph Beuys as a bouncing pop star, performing with band and backup singers the 1982 song Sonne Statt Reagan. The title is a play on the pronunciation of the US president’s name, which in German is the word for rain. Beuys stands, iconoclastically, behind his band, not in front of them, moving jerkily, like David Byrne.
The beginning lyrics go:
From the land that is destroying itself and dictating our “way of life” comes Reagan and brings weapons and death. And should he hear ‘freedom’ he sees red. As president of the U.S.A., he says ‘Atomic war? Yes, please, there and there.’ Whether Poland, Middle East, Nicaragua, he wants the Final Victory, that’s just clear.
We want sun
instead of rain/Reagan,
to live without armament!
The rockets must rust!
In the second verse, instead of “the rockets must rust,” Beuys declares, “A plague upon cold warriors!”
(Hat tip to Patrick the Teuton.)