Sonne Statt Reagan, 1982
, 1 min 58 s, colour, sound (music: Die Deserteure)
Courtesy of ARD TV / Bananas, Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln
It has been said that for Joseph Beuys music swings between the extreme positions of silence and din, and perhaps because he believed that ‘every man is an artist’ – and what’s more shows it in front of large audiences – he also tried his luck as a pop singer, as part of his political commitment. In 1982, in a mixture of masquerade and activism, he infiltrated the Bananas programme on the German television channel ARD (07/03/1982), on which bands like Depeche Mode and Foreigner performed. Backed by the group Die Deserteure, he sang his song Sonne Statt Reagan, an attack on Ronald Reagan’s arms policies and a reaffirmation of his ecological commitment, on a programme with a wide audience broadcast to coincide with various demonstrations by pacifist movements in Germany. The song was eventually released as a single.
1638, the year Louis XIV was born –his second name, Dieudonné, alluding to his God-given status– saw the diffusion of a cult of maternity encouraged by the very devout Anne of Austria, in thanks for the miracle by which she had given birth to an heir to the French throne. Simon François de Tours (1606-1671) painted the Queen in the guise of the Virgin Mary, and the young Louis XIV as the infant Jesus, in the allegorical portrait now in the Bishop’s Palace at Sens.
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