Your Chair

CR 879. Year 2001

Wv 879 Your Chair 01


Jochen Gerz has continued to articulate a space where distinctions between private and public collapse, a "no-man's land" where spatial politics is most animated. Understanding that the public sphere is much more than officially designated, sanitized "public space"… he takes into considerations the powerful impact of systems of information and knowledge of social identity.

Helga Pakasaar 1999

The experiential value of individual engagement with artworks is supplemented by a social moment whereby the question of a collective creativity and authorship comes to the fore that places the focus more on the process than the product. Gerz’s work allows for the exploration of an expanded experience of the effect of art when the art is manifested without a work of art (but with an effect).

Paolo Bianchi 2016

Should you pick up a chair or not? Should you break the silence? Vandalise the artwork?

Octave Debary 2017

Der Stuhl in meinem Arbeitszimmer... ist vielleicht ein bisschen zu schwer, jedenfalls steht er seit Jahren da, ohne dass ihn jemand mitnimmt. In der Heidelberger Ausstellung... standen Klappstühle bereit. Etwa 50 Besucher nahmen die Einladung an, nahmen einen Stuhl – und bettelten. Für sie selbst war das nach Erzählungen schwierig, für die Angebettelten... aber auch.

Angeli Janhsen 2018

Public authorship / Work in public space

Siena, Mestre, Italia. Heidelberg, Deutschland. Klagenfurt, Österreich. Scottsdale, New York City, Evanston, USA. Hamilton, Canada. Beograd, Republika Srbija. Passau, Deutschland

100 chairs (wood, canvas, dimensions variable, each c. 40 x 40 x 40 cm), mural text

The work, which was created for the Il Dono / The Gift exhibition in Siena alludes to a character in Dante’s Divine Comedy, a powerful citizen of Siena who must suffer in purgatory for having begged in the streets despite his great wealth. A folding chair was placed in front of a wall with the inscription You may take this chair into the street and ask for money. Visitors to the exhibition were free to follow the invitation, remove the chair from the installation and become beggars in public space.

Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin


Siena 2001 (Mestre 2001-2002. Heidelberg 2001-2002. Klagenfurt 2002. Scottsdale, New York City, Evanston, Hamilton, Beograd, Passau 2002-2004). Cologne 2002.


I: Milano 2001, p. 63. Debary 2017, pp. 114-117, 200-201

II: Ed. 1, 2004. Ed. 2, 2004. Ed. 3, 2004. Kohl 2004. Müller 2004. Raab 2004. Rabenstein 1, 2004. Rabenstein 8, 2004. Schmid 2004. Wagner 2004

IV: Heidelberg 2002, Passau 2004, Nuremberg 2018

V: Zuschlag 2002. Janhsen 2018, p. 57

Access general bibliography

My name is Jochen Gerz