Le Grand Amour (fictions)

CR 267. Year 1980

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It had been Thursday, ever since she came. The evening at Circe’s kept going on. It was the first night, half past eleven, before they went to bed. She would take a shower. She would come back out ...

In Le Grand Amour I, I pretend to speak of a one-time event. The text accompanying the photos is tame and yet provocative, because I repeat the same words twelve times next to twelve different photographs. I copy, inviting viewers to engage in the kind of consumption that lets them forget individual faces and features. The large photographs exude calmness. This is how I try to find a balance between provocation, accusation, and serenity. The whole work is like a piece of blotting paper that picks up and reveals what I am and am not emotionally capable of. We resemble our language more than ourselves, and it takes great effort to be receptive to something unprecedented – too great in fact, because language is never unprecedented and neither is the image.

Jochen Gerz - Marie Luise Syring 1982 Translated by e_CR editors

In Le Grand Amour I gebe ich vor, von einem einmaligen Ereignis zu sprechen. Der Begleittext zu den Fotos ist zahm und trotzdem provokativ, weil ich den gleichen Text zwölf Mal mit zwölf verschiedenen Fotografien wiederhole. Ich kopiere, ich lade zum Konsum ein, der Gesichter und individuelle Merkmale vergessen läßt. Die großen Fotografien haben dabei einen ruhigen Charakter. So suche ich nach einem Gleichgewicht zwischen Provokation, Anklage und Gelassenheit. Diese ganze Arbeit ist gleichsam ein Löschpapier, auf dem sich abdrückt, wozu ich gefühlsmäßig fähig bin und wozu nicht. Wir ähneln unserer Sprache mehr als uns selbst, und es bedeutet eine große Anstrengung für etwas Einmaliges empfänglich zu sein, eine zu große sogar, denn die Sprache jedenfalls ist nie einmalig und das Bild auch nicht.

Jochen Gerz - Marie Luise Syring 1982

Le Grand Amour # 1 can be interpreted as the depiction of the love affairs ... and Le Grand Amour # 2 recounts the story familiar to every man in taking leave of his first great love, that of his mother. For the first time ever, Gerz makes use of the literary first person to tell his tale. And for the first time, the motives of both works show features unknown up to now with Gerz: portraits, 12 shots of young, attractive women and 12 of a dignified old lady in the throes of death.

Renate Petzinger, Volker Rattemeyer 2000

Mixed Media Photograph

12 framed b+w photographs with text, each 40,5 x 50,5 cm, total 241,5 x 382 cm

In addition to the English original a German and a French translation have been authorized.

Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris
Museum Folkwang, Essen

Exhibitions

Basel 1980. Paris 1980. Bielefeld 1981. Mannheim 1981. Eindhoven 1981. Freiburg 1982. München 1982. Hamburg 1983 (München 1983). Meymac 1987 (Bar le Duc 1988). Strasbourg 1994. Vancouver 1994 (Newport Beach 1995. Purchase 1996. Winnipeg 1996/97). Paris 1997. Essen 2002. Dublin 2015.

Bibliography

I: Basel 1980. Mannheim 1981, pp. 24-27. Dudweiler 1982. Düsseldorf 1982, p. 238. Calais 1986, p.40. Paris 1986. Paris 1994a, p. 22. Strasbourg 1994, pp. 82-88. Vancouver 1994, pp. 62-63. Paris 1997. Essen 2002, pp. 90-91. Dublin 2015, p.9, p.51.

II: Red. 5, 1980, p. 14. Red. 1, 1981, pp. 75-87. Red. 2, 1981. Red. 7, 1981. Red. 11, 1981.Burkamp 1-3, 1981. Red. 1, 1982. Gassert 1982, p. 41. Längsfeld 1982, p. 15. Spatz 1982. Béraud 1994, p.13. Piguet 1994, p. 23. Wilson 1, 1995

III: Syring 1982, p. 9

V: Gehrke 1982, pp. 198-199. Blümler 1989, p. 14. Köln 1989, p. 45. Géo 2013, pp. 141-145

VI: Düsseldorf 1997, pp. 31-41

Access general bibliography

My name is Jochen Gerz