ARCHIVUM > Doron Polak/Richard Demarco

Doron Polak/Richard Demarco
Doron Polak/Richard Demarco

Richard Demarco
Selected by Doron Polak

Richard Demarco and Joseph Beuys from the Demarco Archives in Edinburgh

Richard Demarco, artist, curator, educator, and mentor, is the person who brought plastic art to the Edinburgh Arts Festival in Scotland. Joseph Beuys, the German conceptual artist, is considered to have changed the face of modern art. Demarco was a co-founder of the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh and has run his gallery there for over 30 years. Demarco, who is now 92 years old, has taught entire generations of art students at the academy. During the last seven decades, he has collaborated and held dialogs with artists and institutions across the globe. It was Demarco who put Scotland on the European art map. A special publication that is included in the Demarco Archives, an archive that documents his life’s activities, records his unique and different connection with Joseph Beuys between 1970-1986. Among other things, the meetings with Beuys, his lectures, joint performances, and exhibitions where Demarco exhibited Beuys’ work are described. In 1979 Demarco visited Beuys in his hometown of Huberkassel. This led to Beuys’ first postcard exhibition in Scotland. This was followed by seven subsequent visits by Beuys to Edinburgh.

Joseph Beuys was influenced by the stormy Scottish landscape, as described in Shakespeare’s play Macbeth. “I see the land of Macbeth, so when shall we two meet again, in thunder, lightning or in rain?” Boyce asked Demarco. The result was an unforgettable series of joint, documented journeys along the coast of the North Sea. Beuys, who termed these “The road to Meikkle Seggie”, was greatly influenced by these excursions and by the Celtic culture.

My personal collaboration with Demarco began in 2001 when I was exhibiting my Markers project at the Venice Biennale. The project included 200 artists who created art along the Via Garibaldi. We brought the exhibition to Scotland that same year and afterward, I produced two additional exhibitions with Demarco of artists from Israel.

This page is followed by six stills from the video, then the 3-minute 32-second film itself.