Hunter, draw the bow, be prey yourself
His work very much reminds me of rituals practiced by peoples or groups foreign to us: text, objects, movements are used in a way that instantly makes one aware of the high symbolic value of these elements. The contents of the symbols often remain hidden to us for a long time; we can only guess at them. But this kind of guessing is a strong emotion, which triggers our inner alertness. Our emotions by no means suffer under this “not understanding at first”.Lieba Jappe 1984. Translated by e_CR editors
Wooden arrow, carving knife, wire, Bunsen burner, small pot, beeswax, rubber cord, photographic opaque, brush, cassette recorder, cassette, manuscript
Duration 30 minutes
Jochen Gerz carves an arrow and dips its tip into liquid beeswax. Using both hands, he writes the sentence Jeger! Den boge spannen, die bûte selber sin (Hunter, draw the bow, be prey yourself) symmetrically on the walls of a corner of the room. He stretches the loops of a rubber cord around his neck and toes. Extending his body, he pulls the cord tight to form the string of a bow, from which he aims the arrow toward the audience and lets it fly. Siberian folk songs are heard.
See the manuscript with the same title (656).
Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin.
Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.
Performance Festival, Bremen 1978
I: München 1979a, p. 15. Bielefeld 1981, pp. 14, 50-51, 112. Ludwigshafen 1984, pp. 11, 15, 106-113. Essen 1991, p. 16. Tarazona 1992, p. 89. Tel Aviv 1995, pp. 40-42
III: Jappe 1993, p. 89
V: Molderings 1984, p. 177. Molderings 1984, p. 203. Wolf 1992, p. 227