Ursula Reuter Christiansen was interviewed by Tine Colstrup at her studio in Denmark in July 2020.
“Beuys was a teacher who turned everything upside down.” In this video, German-born artist Ursula Reuter Christiansen offers a unique insight into her experience of being a student of the leading and controversial artist Joseph Beuys (1921-1986) at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in the late 1960s.
The legacy of Beuys, Reuter Christiansen notes, was not only his great slogans – such as “Everyone is an artist” – but how his unique way of working with his own experiences, material and existence also served as an inspiration for the flourishing women’s movement to do their own things: “It was a revolution. It wasn’t a cliché.” Beuys, she continues, wanted to change things. Though he sometimes came across as “a Messiah” with his disciples, Reuter Christiansen underlines the tremendous impact of his grand vision “to effect change from the bottom up.”