Platz der Grundrechte

Fundamental Rights Square

CR 886. Year 2002-2005

2002 2005 Karlsruhe Platz Der Grundrechte Photo Stadt Karlsruhe Copy

Selection

My perception of justice is not shared by everyone. What justice is cannot be unrelated to what I feel. There are many ways of delaying or dissimulating democratic rights. I say that, ...

Gerz takes the demand for art seriously - as a need and an experience of self-esteem; contrary to mere acceptance and being served something. He thereby strengthens democracy, for in democracy there is no third party you can blame for your silent acceptance and inaction. An active minority contributed to the creation of the Fundamental Rights Square, and the majority did not prevent them from doing so.

Hermann Pfütze 2006

Gerz did not ask them about their knowledge or interpretation of the fundamental rights, but rather posed questions to which he could not have known the answers. Questions that entailed answers and further questions. Questions that addressed a background and aimed at the future. Questions that expressed an interest in, as well as a concern about, the individual and the community.

Hermann Pfütze, 2006

An author, or rather a society of 48 authors, speaks through those words. They manifest themselves in the public, the square, the plural work, the community. They become imaginable, memorable in the act of speaking. Their text is burned in the enamel like an echo of their voices. On the central square individuals joined together - with a proper distance to each other. But every single sign already bears two voices - one on justice, one on injustice – even if the attribution is rarely unambiguous. In front or behind of the one who talks, another is already present.

Angelika Stepken 2006

Public authorship / Work in public space

Karlsruhe, Germany 

48 metal signposts, h = 2,54 cm, 96 enamel
plates with texts, each 54 x 54 cm, mounted as pairs on top of signposts, information plaques 

Karlsruhe is the centre of the German legal system. After the reunification of Germany, people assumed that the most important legal institutions and the federal courts would move successively to Berlin. In recognition of the importance of these national institutions to the city and as a gift to the Federal Constitutional Court on the occasion of its 50th anniversary, Jochen Gerz was commissioned a work of art in public space. 

The work comprised two installations, each consisting of 24 signposts. One version of the installation was installed between the castle and the market and constituted the new Fundamental Rights Square. The second, identical version was dispersed throughout the city.

Enamel plates resembling street signs, bearing anonymous answers to questions about justice and injustice posed by the artist, were mounted on top of each signpost. Each sign had two sides, and there were answers to 500 questions of the artist in all. The answers on one side were responses by judges, scholars and intellectuals; those on the other were statements by people who had been subjects of legal rulings. The artist asked the first group What is justice? The second was asked What is injustice? The result was a dialogue between people’s experiences of justice and injustice – an often confusing discourse, as the origins of the statements, opinions and experiences were not revealed. 

The 24 sites for the decentralised installation were proposed and chosen by residents of Karlsruhe in three separate public forums. 

See the video documentation of the same title (702).

Participants

24 judges, scholars, intellectuals and representatives of public life
24 people who had been subject to legal rulings

Partners

Stadt Karlsruhe, Bundesanwaltschaft, Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie ZKM Karlsruhe, Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Einwohner von Karlsruhe/citizens of Karlsruhe, Sparda Bank Baden-Württemberg, Jürgen Eidenmüller, Angelika Stepken

Realisation

Karlsruhe 2003 – 2005

Bibliography

I: Nürnberg 2006  

II:Ed. 32, 2004. Ed. 33, 2004. Ed. 34, 2004. Ed. 35,2004. Ed. 36, 2004. Gottmann 1, 2004. Gottmann 2, 2004.Hübl 1, 2004. Hübl 2, 2004. Hübl 3, 2004. Hübl 4, 2004. Hübl 5, 2004. Hübl 6, 2004. Hübl 7, 2004. Hübl 8, 2004. Hübl 9, 2004. Hustede 2004. Kopp 2004. Neubauer 2004.Polzer 2004. Rabenstein 2, 2004. Ed. 4, 2005. Ed. 5, 2005. Red. 6, 2005. Ed. 7, 2005. Ed. 8, 2005. Ed. 9, 2005. Red. 10, 2005. Ed. 11, 2005. Ed. 12, 2005. Ed. 13, 2005. Red. 14, 2005. Ed. 15, 2005. Ed. 16, 2005. Ed. 17, 2005. Red. 18, 2005. Ed. 19, 2005. Ed. 20, 2005. Ed. 21, 2005. Red 22, 2005. Ed. 23, 2005. Ed. 24, 2005. Ed. 25, 2005. Red. 26, 2005. Ed. 27, 2005. Ed. 28, 2005. Ed. 29, 2005. Red. 30, 2005. Ed. 31, 2005. Ed. 32, 2005. Baier 2005. Braun 2005. Gerking 1, 2005. Gerking 2, 2005. Gerking 3, 2005. Gerking 4, 2005. Gerking 5, 2005. Gerking 6, 2005. Hübl 1, 2005. Hübl 2, 2005. Hübl 3, 2005. Hübl 4, 2005. Hübl 5, 2005. Hübl 6, 2005. Kaufmann 1, 2005. Kaufmann 2, 2005. Mayer 1, 2005. Mayer 2, 2005. Müller 2005. Neuer 2005. Nückel 2005. Patzer 1, 2005. Patzer 2, 2005. Patzer 3, 2005. Rabenstein 2005. Schwitalla 2005. Thiele 2, 2005. Vollmer 2005. Winter 1, 2005. Winter 2, 2005. Ed. 9, 2006 

III: Ed. 1, 2004. Hübl 2004. Weibel 1, 2004. Schwerfel 2006 

V: Karlsruhe 2012

Access general bibliography

My name is Jochen Gerz