Jochen Gerz was born in Berlin in 1940 and lived from 1966 to 2007 in Paris. Today he is based in Ireland. From 1959 until 1963 he studied Literature, Sinology and Prehistory in Cologne, Basle and London.
From the sixties Gerz worked with new media. He participated in documenta 6 and 8, and represented Germany at the 37. Venice Biennale. His work was shown in group and solo exhibitions as well as retrospectives in European and American museums. Since the 1980s he has mainly developed social process and participation in public space. The public is at the centre of this work. Without their contribution the artwork could not happen. Gerz calls the creative potential of people which influences not only daily life, work and the individual development but also aims at the social interplay at large, public authorship.
His works on memory and the Jewish genocide like Hamburg’s Monument against Fascism and 2146 Stones, the Invisible Monument of Saarbrucken and Coventry’s Future Monument are internationally acclaimed. Recent works include 2-3 Streets(Duisburg, Dortmund, Mulheim an der Ruhr), The Square of the European Promise (Bochum), amaptocare (Dublin), Salviamo La Luna (Milan) and Noi e loro (Ostia).
Jochen Gerz is a member of the Academy of the Arts in Berlin and holds an honorary chair at the University for the Visual Arts in Brunswick.
Prizes and awards (selection): Prize of the German Art Critics, Berlin 1996; Ordre National du Mérite, Paris 1996; Peter Weiss-Prize, Bochum 1996; Grand Prix National des Arts Visuels, Paris 1998.