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Joseph Beuys’ vast and varied output has become one of the most influential bodies of work in recent art history. Encompassing not only objects but also publications, performances, lectures, and political actions, his oeuvre evinces both a career-long investigation into the nature of art and an emphatic dedication to artistic and social freedom. In 1965, in a characteristically controversial performance, Beuys explained the finer points of aesthetics to a dead hare. In 1972, Beuys, who maintained “everyone is an artist,” was dismissed from a teaching position at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art for suggesting that the school admit anyone who wished to attend. As part of the Hirshhorn’s Mordes lecture series, Beuys scholar Mark Rosenthal, curator of 20th-century art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, presents “Joseph Beuys and Contemporary Art” at 3 p.m. at the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden’s Ring Auditorium, 7th & Independence Ave. SW. Free. (202) 357-2700. (Leonard Roberge)