If I am the artist

French Wall # 45

CR 559. Year 1974

If I Am The Artist French W45 Jochen Gerz Cr 559 Web

If I am the artist, who then are you?

Since the author is not supposed to have any more auctoritas than anyone else, Jochen Gerz introduced the principle of dialogue in his work and expressed this idea symbolically in The French Wall # 45 (1974), where he asked: "If I am the artist, who the are you?" Here the reversible relationship between producer and recipient plays a central role, and Gerz' work has continued to explore and challenge this relationship in many permutations and combinations. Gerz's mistrust of any form of representation is also apparent in his rejection of any symbols of authority, this has characterized his work since his visual poetry, and it clearly links the principle of participation to a wider concept of democracy.

Marion Hohlfeldt 2016


French Wall

Text (handwriting, photographic opaque), cardboard, wooden frame, 33 x 24 x 7 cm, signed and dated: Jochen Gerz 1974

Musée d’Art Moderne de Saint-Étienne.
Dépôt François et Ninon Robelin.


Karlsruhe 1975 (Duisburg 1975/1976. Braunschweig 1976). Saint-Étienne 1995. Nürnberg 1996/1997 (Düsseldorf 1997. Saint-Étienne 1997), Saint-Étienne 2015


I: Karlsruhe 1975, Cover und p. 148. Saint-Étienne 1995, pp. 176, 273. Düsseldorf 1997, pp. 104-105

II: Mersmann 1976, p. 25

W: Hohlfeldt 2, 2016, p. 105

Access general bibliography

My name is Jochen Gerz