IN THE ART NITE CALL ME TRAITOR
Gerz’s strategy of dislodging culture from its orderly setting creates as much discomfort as his questions… During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Gerz presented his position with increasing clarity in… pieces which subverted the current system of culture with mordant irony. In the Art Nite call me Traitor is the title of one such piece he made in 1989. … Couched in imagery influenced by the video technique of scrolling, the white panels do not herald the conventional optimistic promise of a screen that is still empty or a page yet unwritten; instead, they might just as easily be indicating erased images or erased texts... Yet is there not a strong similarity between his radical pursuit of the zero point he describes and a vision of utopia? And does his zero point not indeed contain some lingering echo of what Lévinas calls the “rip” in the fabric of time? Is there not a similarity between Gerz’s radical demand that the past be wrenched into the present – his call to fully expose the self to itself – and the bursting “present of the existent” on which Lévinas based his ethical and material experience of existence? In the Art Nite call me Traitor the artist repeatedly endeavours to identify his own subjectivity, to lay it bare and unearth the other potentiality and the uncanny (das Unheimliche) within himself.Doris von Drathen 2004
Mixed Media Photograph
54 framed b+w photographs, 9 of them with a text and 8 with a text collage (red vinyl), each 40,5 x 50,5 cm, 31 framed text panels (red vinyl on cardboard), each 13 x 18 cm, total 460 x 690 cm
Musée d’Art Moderne de Saint-Étienne.
Collection François et Ninon Robelin.
Jouy-en-Josas 1989. Barcelona 1990. Hamburg 1990. Tel Aviv 1995
I: Montréal 1989a, p. 71 Barcelona 1990, p. 188. Zürich 2000, p. 369. Bremen 1992, pp. 62-63, 129. Davis 1992, p. 5. Tarazona 1992, p. 92. Regensburg 1995a, p. 247. Tel Aviv 1995, pp. 106-107 II: Red. 9, 1989, p. 145. Drateln 1989, p. 47. Schmid 1989, p. 33. Hopp 1990, p. 13. Giessler 1, 1990. Preuss 1, 1990. Pejic 1992, p. 77
III: Chevrier 1989, p. 71. Rogendörfer 1990, p. 233
V: Le Thorel-Daviot 1996, p. 103 (Title incorrectly ‘The Answer’). Drathen 2004, pp. 110-112, 116
VI: Düsseldorf 1997, pp. 180-181