Jochen Gerz

Year of birth, place
1940, Berlin, Germany
Role at the ZKM
Artist of the Collection
Biography
Jochen Gerz was born in Berlin in 1940. From 1958 to 1960 he studied German, English and Chinese Language and Literature at the University of Cologne and, in 1962, Prehistory at the University of Basle. Since 1976 he has held various teaching posts at art colleges both in Germany and abroad. He has been awarded many prizes, most recently (in 1996) the Preis der deutschen Kunstkritik in Berlin, the Ordre National pour le Mérite  in Paris, and the Peter-Weiss-Preis in Bochum. He lives in Paris.
 
In 1968 Gerz began producing books in which he experimented with various possibilities of writing and the visualization of language. In 1969 he started combining photographs with the painted and drawn imagery to be found here; but text and photographs always complemented each other, without in any sense merging. Gerz also produced multi-part photographic panels each presenting a grid of images and text fragments. Since 1972 Gerz has also worked in video, made installations and been active as a performance artist. Since 1984, together with his wife, Esther Shalev-Gerz, he has carried out a series of projects on the concept of the monument, and of memory and creativity as communal activities. The aim has been to create monuments in public spaces that only assume their definitive form as a result of the participation of the public, as in the case of the monument »Memorial against Fascism« in the Harburg district of Hamburg (1986-93), or the monument entitled »2146 Stones - Memorial against Racism« in Saarbrücken (1991-93). In the case of the project of 1990-95 known as the »Bremen Questionnaire«, the citizens of Bremen were
asked to express their own ideas concerning the subject matter and the desired effect of a monument.

Individual exhibitions (selection)
 
1968 Galleria Rinascita, Modena
1974 Kunsthalle Kiel
1988 Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf
1990 Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg
1992 »Jochen Gerz, Life after Humanism«, Neues Museum Weserburg Bremen, subsequently at Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Cornerhause Manchester, Saarland Museum Saarbrücken, Altenburg, Potsdam
1993 Galerie Sima, Nuremberg
1994 »Jochen Gerz, Les Images«, Musée d'Art Moderne, Strasbourg; »Jochen Gerz, People speak«, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, subsequently at Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, Neuberger Art Museum, Purchase, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg
1997 »Jochen Gerz, The French Wall«, Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, subsequently at Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf, Musée d'Art Moderne, Saint-Etienne; »Get out of my lies«, Museum Wiesbaden
 
Group exhibitions (selection)
 
1970 »Concrete Poetry«, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
1976 Biennale di Venezia, Venice
1977 documenta VI, Kassel
1982 »Videokunst in Deutschland 1963-1982«, Kunstverein, Cologne, subsequently at Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster, and venues in Munich, Nuremberg, Berlin
1986 »Behind the Eyes«, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco
1987 documenta VIII, Kassel
1992 The Biennale of Sydney, The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
1994 »Hors Limites«, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
1995 »Where is Abel, thy brother?«, Zacheta Gallery of Contemporary Art, Warsaw; »Die Fotografie nach der Fotografie«, Siemens Kulturprogramm, Aktionsforum Praterinsel, Munich, subsequently at Kunst.Halle.Krems, Krems, Städtische Galerie Erlangen, Brandenburgische Kunstsammlungen Cottbus, Museet for Fotokunst, Odense, Fotomuseum Winterthur
1996 »Face à l'histoire«, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
1997 »Made in France«, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; »foto text text foto«, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt/M; »Intermedial«, Kunstsammlung im Kunstgeschichtlichen Institut der Ruhruniversität Bochum; »Deep Storage«, Haus der Kunst, Munich; »Deutschlandbilder«, Martin-Gropius Bau, Berlin 

[David Richardt, 1997]