Inquiline: When Josef Beuys quarantined in NYC with a coyote

BY | Posted on | FILED UNDER Categories Inquiline, Manhattan

When German conceptual artist Joseph Beuys came to the United States for the first time in 1974 he conceived of his own version of quarantine. Angered by the US involvement in the Vietnam War, Beuys arrived in NYC and refused to set his feet down on American soil. Blindfolded, he saw nothing other than a coyote that was inside the gallery with him the entire time. As if he were thinking about the situation immigrants still face in detention centers in 2020, he named his piece ‘I Like America and America Likes Me’, with full ironic bite. Now during this time of Corona Virus shelter, we can revisit Beuys’ prescient work, finding ourselves in isolation, and wanting to express our own anger at the country where we would normally be living. We are INQUILINES, temporary inhabitants of a shelter that may or may not protect us.

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