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Beuys’s art is about finding that potential energy, or creativity, hidden among the disregarded crevices of everyday, modern life. Unschitt (Tallow) is a work in which 20 tons of beef fat was cast in the hollow of a pedestrian underpass. These giant yellowed blocks have a solid, industrial presence and a faintly greasy smell, though at the same time they are organic and delicate, with thin wires measuring the temperature inserted at various points as a stern reminder that the viewer’s body temperature could cause the work to melt slightly. This work, like Beuys’s persona, balances on these contradictions. It is literally the manifestation the potential of public space, and also a testament to empty space slowly being wasted.
Article by Alena Sokhan, photos by Emelie Flood in Berlin; Tuesday, Sep. 24, 2013