Today, the basalt stones are an integral part of Kassel's cityscape. But when Joseph Beuys (1921 - 1986) piled up 7000 of them in the middle of Friedrichsplatz for documenta 7 (1982), the enthusiasm of some citizens was limited. The basalt stones built a V-formation and pointed with its top to the first oak tree that Beuys planted in front of the Fridericianum. Each additional tree was to receive a basalt stone and contribute to the project "Stadtverwaldung" ("urban forestation").


The appeal to the citizens was: The faster the 7000 oaks are planted, the faster they will get rid of the basalt stones in front of the Fridericianum.


Instead, the group "Pink Panters" had a completely different idea to fight the dreariness of the 7000 stone blocks: Instead of paying 500 DM for planting an oak tree, they simply sprayed some of the basalt stones with pink emulsion paint. Matching the paint and their group name the members of the "Pink Panters" Roland Scheurer, Georges Koch, Klaus Schöter, Wolfgang Clement and Henry Maj Koch wore pink overalls. However, there was at least one person who was displeased with the transformation of the basalt stones into a pink paradise: Joseph Beuys.


On the same day, Beuys commissioned a cleaning company to clean the stones. But the "Pink Panters" did not allow the removal of their embellishment without resistance: they demonstratively stood on the sprayed stones. The cleaning company made short work of it, however, and directed the high-pressure cleaner straight towards the group, which then had to admit defeat and watch in disappointment as their pink paint seeped into the ground of Friedrichsplatz.


Our docArt of the month shows the moment a man of the cleaning company tries to make the "Pink Panters" flee with a jet of water, while the rest of the group protectively hold their hats in front of them. The copyright of the original photograph is not clear yet. Thus, it will be raised with the cataloguing campaign that has been ongoing since October 2020. So, until then, we will show you an illustration of this protest action, bringing some color to your home.


Lena Voss