How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare (Wie man dem toten Hasen die Bilder erklärt ) is a performance piece staged by the German artist Joseph Beuys on 26 November 1965 at the Galerie Schmela in Düsseldorf. While it was only Beuys’s first solo exhibition in a private gallery, it is sometimes referred to as his best known action.
At the beginning of the performance Beuys locked the gallery doors from the inside, leaving the gallery-goers outside. They could observe the scene within only through the windows. With his head entirely coated in honey and gold leaf, he began to explain pictures to a dead hare. Whispering to the dead animal on his arm in an apparent dialog, he processed through the exhibit from artwork to artwork. Occasionally he would stop and return to the center of the gallery, where he stepped over a dead fir tree that lay on the floor. After three hours the public was let into the room. Beuys sat upon a stool in the entrance area with the hare on his arm