James Lee Byars: letters to

Etukansi
Over the course of sixteen years, Joseph Beuys received more than a hundred letters from James Lee Byars without ever writing back himself. Byars sent a wealth of elaborately designed letters to very different people, but among them, Joseph Beuys was the only artist Byars' letters enthrall with their immense variety of materials, forms, and ideas -- as they are not written with an eye towards receiving an answer, they constitute a part of his day-to-day artistic routine Proposing a much more interesting notion than the standard artist-audience or author-reader relationship, these letters posit and immediate addressee and yet at the same time propose his absence. In an effort to create a form of contact transcending the transitory, the ephemeral, and even the presence of a physical body, Byars' letters revolutionized traditional structures of ownership and being in the arts. The complete set of letters reproduced in this publication contains reflections on Byars' own work and that of Beuys, and musings about the creative process, and its inverse, death.

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Franz Joseph van der Grinten
6
Viola Michely
66
Introductory Remarks Einleitende Bemerkungen
72
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