Gerry Schum, Artist in distribution, Germany, 1938 - 1973
Gerry Schum, who was born in Cologne in 1938 and died in Düsseldorf in 1973, studied at the Deutsches Institut für Film und Fernsehen in Munich from 1961 to 1963 and at the Film und Fernsehakademie Berlin from 1966 to 1967.
Schum used television with the aim to bypass traditional art institutions and to open up a new platform for presentation, perception and discussion of art. His television projects started initially rather conventionally with two documentaries about the art market, produced for German television in 1967 and 1968. The marking point of his revolutionary shift from making television about art towards artworks realized for and in television was “Land Art”, the first exhibition of his Television Gallery which screened the films of eight artists without any comment and was broadcast in 1969.
With his works and initiatives Schum was engaged in institutional criticism and a pioneer in fostering the idea of video and television as independent media of art. He coined the term “Land Art” and was among the first to open a gallery exclusively dedicated to video art.