Die Bremer Befragung / Sine Somno Nihil

The Bremen Questionnaire / Sine Somno Nihil

CR 112. Year 1990

Wv 112 Die Bremen 213

When you look out on the water, you see yourself and at the same time you are the image that leaves, like a bird its trembling bush. Perhaps forever. The Bremen Questionnaire is a sculpture made of the images of those who imagine them.

And the work itself? It is here and everywhere. The location, driven over and walked on, symbolises public space for a city and its inhabitants. Thus a socially-committed sculpture? Yes, but one that defines itself by way of shared reflection, passing on the news and dreaming.

Günther Metken 1995

A space has no existence until someone completes it, or as Jochen Gerz has put it: the visitor visits him/herself. Without active participation – without being completed and reflected upon – the work becomes a lifeless landmark: a simple signal that announces the name of a place, and which itself is consigned to non-visibility

Marion Hohlfeldt 1999

... les questions de l’artiste, les réponses des habitants, les débats créés par ces échanges ont fait évoluer l’intention de Gerz et la nature de l’oeuvre. Représentant bien plus que des “formalités”, ... ce processus a permis ... de réaliser une sculpture “imaginée” dont chaque participant devenait l’auteur. L’artiste a ainsi remis en question la nature même de la commande publique et le présupposé de devoir produire des résultats tangibles…

Jacques Heinrich Toussaint 2020


Work in public space

With students from the Hochschule der Künste Bremen: Gunda Chromik, Rainer Krause, Andrea Lühmann, Detlef Stein, Karola Werner and 232 citizens of Bremen

Steel frame construction, triangular V4A steel plate with engraving, h = 1 cm, side lengths 115 x 200 x 230.7 cm, triangular safety glass plate, h = 4.5 cm, side lengths 115 x 200 x 230.7 cm, total 115 x 200 cm

Location: Bürgermeister-Smidt-Brücke, Bremen, on the right side exiting the city

Jochen Gerz is awarded the Roland-Preis für Kunst im öffentlichen Raum in Bremen on November 29, 1990. The award is given in conjunction with a commission for a work of art in public space in Bremen. Three years later, the citizens of Bremen are surveyed on the subject of their thoughts about art in public space. Fifty thousand residents are asked three questions in questionnaires, the newspaper TAZ and television broadcasts:
1. What topic should the work address?
2. Do you believe that your ideas can be realized in a work of art?
3. Would you like to participate in the artwork?
Those involved in the project voice the opinion that the sculpture need not be a material object at six public seminars. A rectangle comprised of two triangles – a metal plate and a glass pane – is installed on the Bürgermeister-Smidt-Brücke in such a way that the glass pane hangs out over the side of the bridge above the River Weser.

The metal plate shows an engraved text on the work and the engraved names of the persons participating in the project. Visitors can look through the glass pane onto the river below.

Collection Freie und Hansestadt Bremen.


I: Ostfildern 1995. Regensburg 1995a, p. 261. Arles 1996, p. 155. Périgueux 1996, p. 12. Bolzano 1999, pp. 64 - 67. Zürich 2000, p. 109

II: Red. 12-14, 1990. Blümler 1991, p. 145. Kruschke 1993. Rambalski 1+2, 1993. Red. 16, 1993. Red. 30, 1993. Schmid 2, 1993, pp. 8-9. Wolff 1993. Metken 1994, p. 490. Puvogel 1994, pp. 434-435. Beßling 1995. Fleck 1995, p. 80. Gorchacova 1995. Heiderich 1995. Jäger, M. 1995, p. 92. Köster 1995. Metken 1995, p. 31. Ramm 1995. Red. 4, 1995, pp. 40-43. Red. 7, 1995, p. 143. Red. 31+32, 1995. Schmid 1, 1995, pp. 8-9. Schmidt-Missner 1995. Schneckenburger 1995, p. 6. Schossig 1995. Weichardt 1995. Wulffen 1995, p. 455. Crüwell 1997. Huther 1 - 5, 1997. Rudel 1+2, 1997. Schneebeli 1997. Schossig 1997, Toussaint 2020, pp. 32-33

III: Rambalski 1993, p. 37. Sauerbier 1993, p. 22. Koenneke 1994, p. 29. Komm 1995, pp. 38-39. Mesnard 1997, pp. 72ff.

V: Manus, Vickery (eds) 2016, pp. 109-110

VI: Docquiert/Piron 1997, pp. 67-73


Photographs, Project book (Ostfildern 1995)

Exhibition of the documentation

Périgueux 1996. Bolzano 1999

My name is Jochen Gerz