- BEUYS Joseph, Coyote: I Like America and America Likes Me, 1974. Block Galery. NYC.
video 37:07 min., sound, b/w, René Block Collection.
In the course of the performance Coyote: I Like America and America Likes Me (1974), Joseph Beuys spent three days with a coyote – a predatory animal considered holy by Native Americans. At the beginning of the performance Beuys was carried on a stretcher from the JFK airport in New York to the Rene Block Gallery, with his body entirely wrapped in felt (an insulating material related to the artist’s survival as a German pilot during WWII). After three days, during which Beuys and the coyote developed tentative reciprocal relations, Beuys was once again wrapped in felt and led back to the airport in an ambulance. Beuys said that during the performance he functioned as a kind of modern shaman, a German citizen experiencing the accelerated process of Americanization that took place during the 1950s. His interest in the coyote’s mythical ‘‘free spirit’’ acquired a sociopolitical dimension in this context: the healing of the roots of the American trauma related to the violence employed against Native Americans, and an allusion to Americanization as symbolizing Western capitalism more generally.