The End of the 20th Century
The end of the 20th century is an installation by Joseph Beuys.
It consists of large, oblong pieces of basalt, all of which have a conical hole bored into them at one end. In these holes smaller cones of rock have been placed, lined with clay and felt. The rocks evoke bones or corpses, and in their random alignment could produce the sensation in a viewer that “the state of the world is beyond control”. This inevitably brings to mind Beuys’ experiences during World War II, in which he served as a Luftwaffe pilot and many of his family members were killed. However, the materials of clay and felt symbolize potential growth and “suggest the possibility of new life emerging at the end of a dark century”.