Jochen Gerz

Das Geschenk




For the duration of the exhibition “” on the premises of the former mine Zollern ll/lV in Dortmund, Jochen Gerz realöised the set-up of a digital photo studio and a frame workshop.

The photo studio offered every visitor the possibility to get a photograph taken for free by a professional photographer according to the artist’s instructions, which was framed afterwards in the workshop. At the same time a second identical photo was printed and framed and transported to the local museum “Museum am Ostwall” and exhibited. An estimated amount of 5600 portraits of 50 by 60 cm had been produced twice. The back of each photograph contained exact specifications, such as the date and serial number of the portrait, as well as a certificate about the context of production. However, visitors did not received their own portrait as a gift, but rather a randomly chosen portrait of another person. The image of a stranger in the recipient’s private space thus became a symbol of the social interaction of unselfish giving.To see their own portrait the visitor had to go to the museum.

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