Dear friends,

I need your help! Can you lend me a Joseph Beuys artwork? More specifically, can you (or someone you know) lend me the parts for it?

I am working on a project for PS1 that re-creates Joseph Beuys’ famous “Sled” work from 1969, but using all objects BORROWED from my friends and extended social network. It’s not a hard piece to put together, actually! It consists of only five different components and I’m hoping SOMEONE out there has one (or more) of these, and would be generous enough to lend it for the exhibition. I would be ever so grateful 🙂

Joseph Beuys, “Sled,” 1969, collection of MOMA, New York.

Do you happen to have (or do you know someone who has):

–a wooden “Davoser” German-made sled (believe it or not, they’re still being manufactured and sold)
–one or two grey wool felt blankets
–a vintage or vintage-looking flashlight
–a hunk of lard (yes, a hunk of lard)
–white belt-like strapping

You can view the attached photo to see what I mean… The borrowed objects don’t have to be *exact* replicas of the original, but as *close* as possible is good!

What’s this for?
The “Borrowed Beuys” collection of objects will be displayed as part of an exhibition jointly produced by PS1 and MOMA this October, 2009. The exhibition, titled “1969” features works in MOMA’s collection that date from 1969, as well as a handful of special projects commissioned by contemporary artists. Forty years later, they are assembling the collection to revisit and highlight the differences/similarities that exist between then and now. Beuys’ iconic “Sled” work is not able to be lent to PS1 due to it’s archival condition and I have been invited to contribute an artwork that addresses its absence and hopefully it’s presence in the show.

Why borrow the components?
Yes, I could BUY all the components to remake the “Sled” and it would actually be much much easier than hitting up my social network. But the point of the project, for me, is to bring together a “temporal” work that only exists for the duration of the show. Also, it seems so ironically… capitalist… to just go out and buy everything. Instead, all borrowed objects would come together for a few months –a collective effort– and then be dispersed safely back to their original owners. Each “lender” would be fully credited as a “lender” to the work (much like how MOMA’s lenders of artwork are credited in wall text next to the title of the work), and if you lent me a component, your name would hang next to the “big guys” who lend. By creating a “collective” Beuys work, this project hopefully tries to revisit his ideals in some manner forty years later.

Essentially, I am asking for the general public to rummage through their closets to come together to do what MOMA itself can’t do: lend a Joseph Beuys artwork for the show.

More details:
–Shipping of all components would be paid for (not on your dime!). Willing to ship internationally, too!
–All components, once at the museum, would be handled as artwork and treated very very well
–The show opens in late-October at PS1 and will feature approximately 70 (original!) works by artists such as Bruce Nauman, Eva Hesse, Diane Arbus, Eva Hesse, Robert Barry, Vija Celmins, and way more people than I can name here. It’s an amazing lineup. Your object will be in excellent company!
–After a run of several months, all works will be returned to the lenders in safe condition.

Please feel free to forward this message to anyone you think can lend me these objects!

“Borrowed Beuys”
Contact: Stephanie Syjuco

Thank you!
Stephanie Syjuco