In 1966, Beuys and his friend Per Kirkeby made an 'imaginary' journey with their wives to the village of Manresa in the Pyrenees. Kirkeby subsequently wrote about the journey and Beuys performed the 'action' 'Manresa' later that year. The village is significant for its connection with Ignatius Loyola who spent several months there in meditation, prior to writing his volume of prayers 'Spiritual Exercises'. The book is based around the idea that 'Intuition is a higher form of reason' – a belief the artist shared. The village is a place of pilgrimage for Catholics and is generally associated with spiritual enlightenment. Beuys used this circular object in his 'Manresa' 'action'. To prepare for the campaign, Beuys himself traveled to the Spanish city of Manresa and visited the cave where Ignatius lived in a retreat. The insight that it is up to every concrete individual to get up from the grave with injuries, suffering and traumas, to discover and developpe the capacity for creative power.
Performance by Beuys under title ‘Manresa’ in Galerie Schmela in Düsseldorf, 15 december 1966