Jochen Gerz was born in Berlin in 1940. He lived in Paris between 1966 and 2007. Nowadays, he is based in the Southwest of Ireland. He studied literature, sinology and prehistory in Cologne, Basel and London between 1959 and 1963.
Since the end of the 1960s, Gerz has worked with new media. Following his first performances in public space, he created photos/texts, installations, performances and videos for exhibition in galleries and museums. This period included contributions to Documenta 6 and 8, participation in the German Pavilion at the 37th Venice Biennale in 1976 (with Beuys and Ruthenbeck), and numerous group and solo exhibitions and retrospectives in German, European and North American museums. Since the mid-Eighties (and exclusively since 2000), Gerz has returned to working on social processes in public space, which in part evolve over several years. The public itself stands at the centre of this work and his art would not be possible without its participation.
Current realisations: Graz (63 years later), Dortmund, Duisburg, Mülheim (2-3 Streets), Ostia (Noi et loro), Bochum (Square of the European Promise), Dublin (amaptocare).
Jochen Gerz is a member of the Academy of the Arts, Berlin, and an honorary professor at the Braunschweig University of Fine Arts.
Awards and honours (selection): German Critics' Choice Award, Berlin 1996; Ordre National du Mérite, Paris 1996; Peter Weiss Award, Bochum 1996; Grand Prix National des Arts Visuels, Paris 1998.
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