The practice of performance art is a metaphor in itself. More precisely: a metaphor referring to a historical and social state when artistic work was a natural part of collective life and the daily efforts to humanise life in conflict with nature.Herbert Molderings 1984
…Many of the performances are linked to the use of video technology. Their overriding characteristic is that performer and audience are not in the same room. In them, Gerz demonstrates how the performance can become a model for cultural processes. It is true that, time and time again, Gerz has been associated with the "individual mythologies" trend that became popular in the 1970s. Nonetheless, it is precisely these performances, which are characterised by the use of video, which reveal that Gerz, however much he may have the linking of art and life at heart, clearly understands that a performance always takes place in an esthetic setting wherein the existential dimension can find expression, but cannot be translated into cultural practice.Friedemann Malsch 2002
This installation, ... consists of the two-fold reproduction – with a sickle and petrified mirror as sculpture and as video – of the mythological figure of Medusa, who died ‘because her own image turned her into stone’. The only movement on the tape is that of the camera as it zooms in and out to observe the actor. The double refraction of the self-image into ideal on the one hand and disillusionment on the other is further duplicated by the physical presence of a sculptural figure as well as a video simulation. The only sound is the hissing of the monitor.Rudolf Frieling 2014
Performance / Installation
Mirror, sickle, video camera, video recorder, video tape, monitor, white wooden pedestal, mannequin on a pedestal (coverd with fabric, painted with photographic opaque), h = 180 cm
A life-sized figure painted with photographic opaque holds a sickle above its head in its left hand and a mirror in its right. The mirror is positioned facing a monitor on the opposite side of the room. It shows the video recording of a performance with Jochen Gerz standing motionlessly in the same position as the figure.
See the video of the performance (677).
Fonds National d'Art Contemporain, Paris
Berlin 1977. Wiesbaden 1997
I: Chur 1978, pp. 37-39. Luzern 1979, pp. 92-93. Frankfurt 1980, p. 15. Bielefeld 1981, pp. 12, 108. Ludwigshafen 1984, pp. 13, 88-93. Tel Aviv 1995, pp. 38-39. Wiesbaden 1997, pp. 12, 98-105
II: Hartmann 2, 1978, pp. 4-5. Molderings 1, 1980, p. 125. Red. 8, 1981, Red. 10, 1981, Syring 3, 1981, p. 56. Asmuth 1+2, 1997. Neues Deutschland, 9.6.1997. Schossig 1997. Vogue 8/1997. Frieling 2014
III: Molderings 1979, p. 64
IV: Kunst Magazin 1977, p. 96. Gruber 1983, p. 114
VI: Kunstforum International 24/1977. Incroyable 1982, p. 194