COYOTE – I Like America and America Likes Me

Joseph Beuys



Collection: VERDEC.

Joseph Beuys had a troubled relationship with American culture. His performance COYOTE – I Like America and America Likes Me ook place in May 1974 at René Block Gallery in New York, where he spent three days locked in a room with a live coyote. Beuys flew to New York and was taken by ambulance to the gallery. Throughout the performance, he interacted with the coyote, sometimes he was wrapped in grey felt, holding a large staff, sometimes they circled each other, and the coyote would eventually rip the felt to shreds. At the end of the performance, Beuys hugged the coyote as a symbol of its tolerance towards him, and was returned to the airport once again in an ambulance, arriving and then leaving America without touching its soil. Beuys stated: “I wanted to isolate myself, insulate myself, see nothing of America other than the coyote”. His ritualistic action was an act of solidarity with Indigenous Americans, some tribes of which saw the coyote as a sacred animal able to move between the physical and spiritual worlds. Beuys saw the decimation of the coyote population by European settlers as symbolic of the violence of white men on indigenous cultures. “You could say that a reckoning has to be made with the coyote, and only then can this trauma be lifted” he stated.

Events View all

Ensembles View all

Actors View all