Es findet woanders statt

It happens somewhere else

CR 7. Year 1969

Es findet woanders statt Jochen Gerz CR 7 web

Es findet woanders statt.

Gerz’ undertakings work in a sharp contrast to the other art actions in the exhibition. They barely offer any formal or spatial appeal, but are rather meaning-markers in a poetic sense. An immediate invitation to become aware of something.

Peter Althaus 1969. Translated by e_CR editors

Die Unternehmungen von Gerz wirken in einem starken Gegensatz zu den übrigen Aktionen; sie boten kaum einen räumlichen oder formalen Anreiz irgendeiner Art, sondern in einem eher poetischen Sinn Denk-Mäler; also direkte Aufforderungen, sich etwas bewusst zu machen.

Peter Althaus 1969

The uncompromising nature of his works results, now as then, from a radical critique of culture, which Gerz summed up in a 1989 interview in typically metaphorical terms: “It’s all about life, not about cultural added value. Actually, art has little to do with good and evil. It’s not about the survival of culture, but about survival. Culture has taken us exactly where we are today. We have been the world champions in acquiring things. I’ve got a feeling the shelves are coming down on our heads. Today, what matters is how much of it we’re going to be able to recycle."

Friedemann Malsch 2002

In 1969, Robert Barry put up a sign at the Galerie Art & Project in Amsterdam saying: “during the exhibition the gallery will be closed." Likewise in 1969, Jochen Gerz’s works are not on view at the Basel Kunsthalle but rather a note tacked up on the wall: “It happens somewhere else.” Like all of his diverse later works that address the theme of nothingness, such refusals to meet expectations refer back to the great provocations of the past. Each new work reacts differently, positions itself differently, brings in an unexpected aspect.

Angeli Janhsen 2018. Translated by e_CR editors

1969 bringt Robert Barry ein Schild an der Galerie Art & Project in Amsterdam an: „during the exhibition the gallery will be closed.“ Ebenfalls 1969 gibt es in der Baseler Kunsthalle nicht eine Ausstellung von Jochen Gerz zu sehen, sondern einen an die Wand getackerten Zettel: „Es findet woanders statt“. Wie alle die verschiedenen späteren Arbeiten, die das Nichts thematisieren, beziehen sich solche Verweigerungen auf die früheren großen Provokationen. Jede neue Arbeit reagiert anders, positioniert sich anders, bringt einen unerwarteten Aspekt.

Angeli Janhsen 2018



Note (stamp ink on paper) 10.5 x 13.5 cm

A note with the text Es findet woanders statt (It happens somewhere else) is affixed to the wall of an otherwise empty exhibition room at the Kunsthalle Basel.


Basel 1969


I: Basel 1969/2, pp. 38-39. Bolzano 1999, p. 105

V: Angeli Janhsen 2018, p. 57

Access general bibliography

My name is Jochen Gerz