Titus Andronicus / Iphigenie - Titus Andronicus / Iphigenie

Titus Andronicus / Iphigenie , often also called Iphigenie / Titus Andronicus , was an art campaign by the German artist Joseph Beuys (1921–1986) at experimenta 3 , organized by the German Academy of Performing Arts in Frankfurt am Main from May 29th to 7th. June 1969.

The action

As part of the experimenta 3 organized by the German Academy of Performing Arts in Frankfurt, Joseph Beuys staged the performance conceived as a theater scene on May 29 and 30, 1969 in the Theater am Turm. On the illuminated theater stage there was a living white horse eating hay on a “paddock” spanned with ropes. Beuys appeared on stage in a long fur coat and fiddled with a microphone , with pieces of sugar for his “animal” protagonist and with margarine. During the action he rattled an orchestra cymbal and put pieces of iron on his head. Strolling across the stage, he recited texts from William Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Iphigenie auf Tauris and accompanied his lecture with appropriate gestures; he crouched down, got up again and walked on, while monotonous texts by Claus Peymann and Wolfgang Wiens could be heard as tape montages.

The action was documented photographically and later used by Beuys as a multiple with the title Iphigenie / Titus Andronicus (1985).


The playwright and playwright Botho Strauss commented on the action in an issue of Theater heute magazine : “Beuys confronts the pictorial; the horse is his personal epiphany; when he read the texts, it was in front of his eyes. In the horse, an interpretation and a medium materialize between the pieces and Beuys. The text runs as a speaking tape, an unplastic, indifferent sound continuum […] Beuys neither interprets nor illustrates the text, it is not a stimulating score for him, the text does not prevail or manipulate his behavior; and yet it is acoustic material, a ready-made preparation that Beuys exposes himself to [...] " [1]

Under the heading "Titus, Iphigenia and the horse" ran the headline of the writer Peter Handke in the time : "It must be made clear: The more distant and hermetic, the events are presented on the stage, the more clear and sound, the viewer can these abstractions to his concretize your own situation outside. " [2]



  1. ^ Heiner Stachelhaus: Joseph Beuys ; Page 175 ff.
  2. ^ Die Zeit, June 13, 1969 edition