The 25 Best Performance Art Pieces of All Time

2. I Like America and America Likes Me by Joseph Beuys, 1974

German artist Joseph Beuys first attracted attention with his groundbreaking Explaining Pictures to a Dead Hare (wherein he quite literally did that) but it was I Like America and America Likes Me that exposed him to an international audience. For his first show in the U.S., Beuys flew to Kennedy airport in New York City, where he was met by a stretcher and covered in felt, presaging his preoccupation with the material. He was then loaded into an ambulance and taken to his exhibition space at René Block Gallery. For three days, Beuys shared the space with a wild coyote, performing actions both necessary to preventing harm to himself and carrying a symbolic weight for the viewer. At the end of the three days, by which time Beuys and the coyote had essentially become friends, the artist was once again loaded onto a stretcher, taken back to the airport by ambulance, and flown back to Germany. He never set foot on the ground in America and saw nothing of the country but the gallery.

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