Jochen Gerz (1997-12-12)

Jochen Gerz
Practice: Photography Installation
Date of Lecture: 1997-12-12


Jochen Gerz is an artist and writer who is best known for his interactive projects and his innovative, conceptual public memorials. Gerz’s interest in media criticism has remained consistent throughout his artistic practice, inspiring many of his interventionist pieces of the 1960s and 1970s. After 1968, Gerz’s interest in bringing art into the public space led to his creation of numerous interactive performances, questionnaires and installations. In 1976, he was invited to represent Germany in the Venice Biennale and in 1977 and 1987, he was a participant in Documenta 6 and 8.

Gerz_Jochen_w01Good Times, 1990 © Jochen Gerz

In the 1980s, Gerz was commissioned to create several commemorative monuments. His Anti-Fascist Memorial in Hamburg (1986-1993) was intended to encourage an ongoing dialogue with historical memory. The memorial consisted of a 12 meters high column. Residents of Hamburg were invited to sign their names against fascism on its surface, and as the column filled with signatures, it was gradually lowered into the ground. For 2146 Stones – Monument Against Racism in Saarbrücken, (1991-93) the names of desecrated Jewish cemeteries were written on the underside of cobble-stones that formed an alley in front of Saarbrücken castle.

Recently, Gerz has taken his interactive projects into the medium of cyberspace, creating works such as The Berkeley Oracle (1997-1998).

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