Joseph Beuys
La Rivoluzione Siamo Noi, 1971
(The Revolution is Us) 1387

transfer print on polyester
Purchased with the funds from Mr. and Mrs. Robert Looker
The New School Art Collection

Robert Rabinovitz

Positioned in the tight space between the old Parsons building and the new wing of the gallery, this almost life size print of Joseph Beuys, strutting forth with purpose, pushes one to consider the same. This specific location of the print facing the street, thru the clear glass, also forces one to contemplate individually, the image, the size and meaning either within the walls of the educational institution or from 13th street in New York City where education is free.

The print exposes Joseph Beuys in his glory, having survived near fatal injuries in WW II as a Luftwaffe pilot, where he was found and wrapped in felt and fat to preserve his body temperature then taken to safety by dogs on a sled. He continued to use all of his life experiences integral to his artwork, writing and teaching. He moves with a kind of purpose, passion and grace making use of all of his deeply personal experiences.

Am I, or are we, trudging forth with purpose? Do I, do we, have a reason to move on and start a revolution? Joseph Beuys artist and educator, was also known as a type of shaman, and leader of revolutions, stated that people need to change prior to society changing. Parsons and The New School have and continue to do the same. The New School continues to ask oneself to change and to be courageous enough to move with passion and not always care or concern oneself if or how others might view oneself or others and our work. This of course, is up for debate as well due to political reasons. Am I moving with passion? Are we moving with passion? The work encourages, and as almost full size and mirror like, forces self reflection, while asking the deepest of personal and philosophical questions concerning self actualization and the revolution within.

Joseph Beuys was, I believe, my graduate professors number one hero. I often wondered why, and since that time in 1990, I have been moved by the artist and his work. The placement of the print, almost the size of us in real life, poses the viewer to reflect on the artist or citizen and ask ourselves- is that me? We are asked to question ourselves and our purpose every day, and some, numerous times a day at school. Are we are in a position to create ourselves, to find our purpose and to seek the revolution within? Do we have the courage to do so?

Here at school, as citizen, student and professor, I continue to question my strut. How am I walking thru the hallway, the street, this life? As a professor and citizen, I ask myself- is the work I am doing as an educator and mentor acting with purpose to create a better life for all of those I encounter? Do I push others to be the best they can be as agents of social and cultural change?


1. With what purpose do I or we walk today?

2. What have I survived in this life that allows me to make use of in creating meaning towards my own revolution?

3. Do I or we, have the courage to act on this today?

I strive for the same in my life and continue to question if any of this is true.