Tausch der Tabus
Exchange of Taboos
Duisburg, Germany 2006
Exchange of Taboos is Jochen Gerz’s third public artwork in the Ruhr Basin. The artist invited representatives from eight religious faiths and convictions to answer the question: “Is it possible to depict the subject of your quest?"

Catholics, Mormons, Protestants, Freemasons, Jews, Muslims, Atheists and Buddhists from the area agreed to respond. Their answers were engraved on 8 glass panels and installed at eight places of worship. However, each statement has been placed at the site – temple, church, synagogue, mosque, and lodge - of another faith. The eight religious organisations have also agreed to install Exchange of Taboos permanently. This way each statement is shown anonymously, publicly and permanently, even after the festival has ended. The anonymous answer at the site of a different faith questions one’s own place as much as the place of another.

As a partner of Exchange of Taboos, the daily newspaper WAZ published one of the eight statements as a full page every Thursday in April and May of 2006. The daily TAZ also participated in the work.

The eight places of worship in Duisburg:

Jüdisches Gemeindezentrum
Freimaurerloge Zur Deutschen Burg e.V.
DITIB Begegnungsstätte e.V.
Kirche Jesu Christi der Heiligen der letzten Tage
Stiftung Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum
Freunde des Westlichen Buddhistischen Ordens e.V.
© Rainer Schlautmann
© Rainer Schlautmann