Greek Pieces 3

CR 48. Year 1975

Prometheus Jochen Gerz Cr48 Web

    In the piece in D., P. is the man who will not let himself be reproduced. He blinds the camera lens directed at him with the light coming from the sun (with the mirror). He cannot bear to be visible, i.e. subject to reproduction. What is visible can be transformed into an image, made immobile, dead (while still alive). (59) Each product is a piece of P.’s liver. The prey of the media. Each product is P.’s loss. He does not produce anything – the product is torn out of him. The more is torn out of him, the more grows back. (60)

    Jochen Gerz 1976

    P. im Stück von D. ist der Mann, der sich dagegen wehrt, abgebildet zu werden. Er blendet mit dem Licht, das von der Sonne kommt (mit dem Spiegel), die Linse der Kamera, die auf ihn gerichtet ist. Er kann es nicht verwinden, sichtbar zu sein, d.h. reproduzierbar. Was sichtbar ist, kann man in ein Bild verwandeln, unbeweglich machen, fix, tot (bei lebendigem Leib). (59)

    Jochen Gerz 1976

    Gerz subverts, attacks and exposes the mechanisms and tenors of bourgeois culture by integrating them in his art...

    Peter Friese 1991. Translated by eCR editor

    Gerz unterläuft, attackiert und ironisiert die Mechanismen und Inhalte bürgerlicher Kultur, indem er sie in gebrochener Form in seine Kunst integriert.

    Peter Friese 1991

    Like this, in a tenacious and uncomfortable resistance against the lethal force of a culture of visibility, he confronts the viewer with himself. It depends on him, not on art. Art becomes the means of awareness of one’s own indolence, immaturity, helplessness.

    Thomas Wagner 1997. Translated by eCR editors

    So konfrontiert er im zähen, unbequemen Widerstand gegen die tödliche Macht einer Kultur der Sichtbarkeit den Betrachter mit sich selbst. Auf ihn kommt es an, nicht auf die Kunst. Diese wird zum Mittel der Erkenntnis der eigenen Trägheit, Unmündigkeit, Ohnmacht.

    Thomas Wagner 1997

    Finding his way through [a medium ED.] corresponds, in Gerz's work, to a two-sided approach which implies both wearing it out - since he pushes the medium to its technical limits - and sounding the depths of his own personality. The artists's mistrust of the medium is such that it causes him to "make it part of his life so that he will corrupt it in turn", knowing full well that he cannot escape the risk of contamination. Thus it is through an art of subversion and resistance that the artist tries to reveal the existing structures of transmission, inasmuch as they are tools of power, yet without confronting them with anything other than life itself.

    Marion Hohlfeldt 2002



    Video camera, hand mirror Duration 20 minutes
    With the aid of a mirror, Jochen Gerz projects sunlight onto the lens of a video camera placed at a distance of 50 meters. Gradually, the light destroys the camera lens and the video image of Gerz. 

    A video documentation of the performance exists (675).


    Park des Wilhelm-Lehmbruck-Museums, Duisburg 1975


    I: Chur 1978, pp. 19-20. Luzern 1979, p. 89. Frankfurt 1980, p. 12. Bielefeld 1981, pp. 43, 104. Ludwigshafen 1984, pp. 52-55. Lausanne 1985, p. 439. Houston 1986, p. 213. Tel Aviv 1995, p. 28. Paris 2002, pp. 43, 190

    II: Red. 9, 1976, p. 47. Syring 1980, p. 59. Syring 3, 1981, p. 58

    V: Gruber 1983, p. 113. Blümler 1989, p. 3. Wolf 1992, pp. 37ff., 191. Fréchuret 2016, p. 228

    Access general bibliography


    b/w photographs of the performance

    Exhibitions of the documentation

    Venezia 1979. Luzern 1979. Lausanne 1985 (Stuttgart 1985). Houston 1986 (San Antonio 1986). Paris 2002 (Strasbourg 2002.Liechtenstein 2002)

    My name is Jochen Gerz