Jochen Gerz - Der Wettbewerb

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Documenting an unusual art manifestation

The WaldSkulpturenWeg Wittgenstein-Sauerland offers you a 23 km long forest trail between Bad Berleburg and Schmallenberg across the Rothaar mountain ridge along which you will find 11 sculptures. The internationally known concept artist Jochen Gerz (born in 1940) has, as part of this art project, once again made a public statement with his “Der Wettbewerb” (The Contest) project. The inhabitants of the municipalities of Schmallenberg and Bad Berleburg, who are separated by the Rothaar mountain ridge and age-old rivalry, were asked to write letters about what attracts them to life in their town. These letters were then imprinted on enameled panels which were placed on posts throughout the communities of the other municipality. The result was an art work to which many people contributed and which stimulated discussion because whoever wanted to read ‘his’ letter had to go to the other town. Jochen Gerz: “In the end, the intention of “Der Wettbewerb” is that the two municipalities take each other’s measure and that the work of art brings them closer together in the future.” The collection of letters paints a lively picture of a small segment of today’s Germany. An interview with the artist sheds light on the various aspects of such a project.
This book received a grant from the Kunststiftung NRW (NRW art foundation).


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The book contains the 144 letters received from the inhabitants of the two municipalities, a text written by Thomas Kemper and also the conversation between Uwe Rüth and Jochen Gerz.

162 pages with 35 black&white illustrations.
17 x 24 cm

Price: EUR 18.00 (SFr 31,90)

ISBN 978-3-87909-847-7
Wienand Verlag Köln

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