Leonard Cruz „Shapeshifting Game“
„From street violence to war, why human beings are so keen on violence.“
“Putzfrau/ Domestic Workers” (Performance)
LAURA_ AkiÓ-> PUTZfrau, is an installation/ stage performance, inspired by my experience as an immigrant domestic worker in Berlin and employer of a domestic worker, back in Brazil. Based in this ambiguous experience of being employer and employee, the artwork casts a discussion on domestic labour, the advent of virtual platforms mediating it and the consequences of coronavirus to vulnerable women working in such sector. The work draws a parallel between the artist profession, which is thought to be surrounded by glamour and status, and domestic work, which is still underpaid and poorly recognized.
- Dr. Wilhelm Schiefer, member of the National Socialist party, author of books with openly antisemitic contents and principal of Beuys‘ former school. When directly asked in 1982, Beuys denied that those contents were taught in his school.
- Hanns Schwarz, head of the Hitler Youth orchestra and Beuys‘ former music teacher, who was teaching his pupils in his Storm Troopers (SA) uniform. Although he was known for being a “fanatic National Socialist”, Beuys admired him for being a “very attractive teacher”.
- Konrad Lorenz, a zoologist whose Nazi career has been made public in the 1970s and whose racist theories were based on ideas such as the need of a biological selection or differences between human “races”. Throughout his life, Beuys claimed to have known Lorenz although there’s no evidence that they’ve actually ever met each other.
- Walther Brüx, founder of the artist association “Niederrheinischen Künstlerbundes Kleve” to which Beuys belonged, too. Brüx was a former student of Bernhard Bleeker, a lecturer and sculptor who amongst other works created a then well-known Hitler bust. Bleeker was member of the National Socialist party from 1932 to 1945 as well as of organizations such as the National Socialist association for lecturers.
- Dr. Hildebrand Gurlitt, director of the Art association of Rhineland was known as Hitler’s art dealer who had been authorized by Goering to deal in so-called “degenerated art”. In 1954, Gurlitt’s secretary Marie Louise von Maltzahn assigned Beuys to produce furniture for Gurlitt.
- Hermann Wurmbach, father of Beuys‘ wife Eva, was member of the National Socialist party since 1933 as well as the SA. He was known as “fanatic and convinced Nazi” as well as “race theorist”. As a member and leader of the National Socialist association for lecturers he was co-responsible for jewish lecturers and dissidents loosing their jobs at the University of Bonn. Especially his “scientific” publications show how much of a convinced Nazi he was: in one of his scripts from 1940 he explains the alleged physical and mental differences between human races, and why he thinks the “nordic races” is superior to any other race. Furthermore, Wurmbach commented positively on the concepts of euthanasia and forced sterilization.
- Knut Hamsun, a Norwegian author who was also a passionate supporter of Hitler. On May, 7th 1945 he published an orbituary for Hitler. Because of this orbituary as well as his membership in the Norwegian National Socialist party Hamsun was arrested and convicted. In 1961, during the trial against Nazi functionary Adolf Eichmann, Beuys wrote down a note that says: “Immediate post-war era – most important man: Hamsun!”
- Karl Ströher, year-long funder of Beuys. Ströher was known being a “passionate supporter of Hitler” to whom he wrote numerous letters, and founded a local group that was controlled by the SA. Ströher also dispossessed his former jewish business partner between 1938 and 1940, and exploited forced laborers.
- Erich Marx, became Beuys‘ funder after Ströhers death in 1979. Marx became a member of the National Socialist party in 1939.
- Werner Georg Haverbeck, member of the National Socialist party since 1926 and former member of the SS, who later in life founded the so-called Collegium Humanum with his wife Ursula Wetzel-Haverbeck, which was banned a few years later due to its distribution of theories surrounding the Holocaust denial. In 1981 he signed a racist script of alt-right academics whose aim was to warn about the German nations “foreign infiltration” and its risks for the German people.
- August Haußleiter, a politician who was an active member in several rightwing and far-right organizations and parties. Beuys stood as a candidate for the AUD, a party founded by Haußleiter. The AUD was considered to be a far-right party and was monitored by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.
- Georg Otto, active member in several rightwing organizations and parties
- Herbert Gruhl, later founder of the right-ecological ÖPD party
- Baldur Springmann, president of the ÖPD, later functionary of the AUD, and former Nazi as well as member of the SA and SS.
- Beuys met Haverbeck, Haußleiter, Otto, Gruhl, and Springmann in order to found a new party (Die Grünen) in 1977.
Karl Fastabend, Beuys‘ secretary, who wrote nearly all of Beuys political texts and in the 1970s, was a former Nazi, who joined the SA as well as the National Socialist party in 1932, and the SS in 1933.
- Hermann Josef Abs, board spokesman of the German bank, whose capital grew due to the so-called Aryanization and who lead a company near Auschwitz where thousands of forced laborers died during the Nazi era. Abs belonged to Beuys close relatives.
- Wilhelm Schmundt, anthroposophist and brother of Rudolf Schmundt, one of the closest confidants of Hitler, who died during the attack on Hitler on July 20th 1944. Beuys and Schmundt were in contact since their first encounter in 1973.
- “wir selbst – Zeitschrift für nationale Identität”, a right-wing magazine that published a cover story filling seven pages with numerous photographs of Beuys and his portrait on its cover in 1982. Part of the article was Beuys‘ “Aufruf zur Alternative”. The Free International University, an association founded by Beuys, was named as author of the cover story.