Eda Keskin: Wabi-Sabi Aesthetic and Joseph Beuys’ Badewanne (1960)

Wabi-Sabi Aesthetic and Joseph Beuys’ Badewanne (1960)

Eda Keskin, PhD cand., Martin Luther UniversityonlineImage

The Wabi-Sabi Aesthetic stresses transience and imperfection. It defines beauty as the imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. In this study, I wish to analyze Joseph Beuys “Badewanne (1960)” in a comparison with the Wabi-Sabi Aesthetic. Beuys uses imperfect, rusty and earthy everyday objects to construct his works.


His constellation “Badewanne (1960)” which contained a dirty bathtub was mistakenly cleaned by two women at the Museum Schloss Morsbroich in the autumn of 1973. Similarly, Sen no Rikyū, who integrated many of the concepts of wabi-sabi into the prescribed practices of the tea ceremony, asks to be a disciple of tea master Takeno Joo. Joo asks Rikyū to clean the garden of tea house. Rikyūscrubs every inch of dirt from the garden. He returns to inspect his work and then reaches out to a tree to allow leaves to sprinkle upon the floor in accordance with wabi-sabi principles. 

teahouseSen no Rikyu






Brief Bio:

Eda Keskin is completing a PhD in philosophy at Martin Luther University, Halle-Wittenburg. She majored in environmental engineering and philosophy and has an M.A. in philosophy from Middle East Technical University, Ankara. She attended Philipps-University Marburg as an exchange student, and taught ‘Social Ecology’ class at Europa University Viadrina Frankfurt. She taught classes on the philosophies of Adorno and Heidegger at Martin Luther University, and her research was funded by the DAAD Research and Teaching Assistantship Program. Her doctoral research is on the reconstruction of Heidegger’s philosophy, and she applies it to the analysis of modern works of artist Joseph Beuys. Her research interests include aesthetics, phenomenology, environmental philosophy and political philosophy. Her M.A. thesis The Analysis of Alienation [Entfremdung] in Being and Time: From A Marxist Perspective was published by LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing in 2011. Her articles and reviews have been published in Global Justice: Theory Practice Rhetoric, CogitoPolitez, Lacivert, Nikbinlik, Ekin Sanat, Ünlem Sanat, Patika, and Dil Im. University of Halle (Martin Luther Universität), Germany


This conference is supported by JSPS Kakenhi grant number 16K02109.


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