We Dig Repetition: Peter Roehr Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 7:30pm Light Industry 220 36th Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenue), 5th Floor Brooklyn, New York
Curated by Mark Webber
“I alter material by organizing it unchanged. Each work is an organized area of unchanged elements. Neither successive or additive, there is no result or sum.” (Peter Roehr, 1964)
You might think that Andy Warhol took pleasure in endless repetition, but he’s got nothing on Peter Roehr, a German artist whose brief career produced hundreds of works using type, photography, collage, film and audiotape. Not content with applying mechanical reproduction techniques to art-making, Roehr instead chose to appropriate industrially produced materials. His many photo collages present austere grids of identically cropped images from magazines. Similarly, his film and sound montages are constructed from brief passages, frequently drawn from commercial advertising, repeated without variation, for an irregular number of reiterations. The result is an insistent, hypnotic demonstration of stoic seriality that takes time and time again.
Roehr died at the age of 23 in 1968. From November 2009 to March 2010, his work is surveyed in parallel exhibitions at the Städel Museum and Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt which commemorate the 60th anniversary since his birth.
“I feel identical with what I do. In the ‘montages’ I realize, in an unrestricted manner, everything that is important to me. I believe, I am free.” (Peter Roehr, 1965)
Mark Webber is an independent curator of avant-garde and artists' film and video, and programme advisor to the BFI London Film Festival. Recent projects include "Shoot Shoot Shoot", "Reverence: The Films of Owen Land”, and Tate Modern seasons on Robert Beavers and Tony Conrad. He is currently working on several publications, and visiting New York through the generosity of the Gershwin Hotel's artist-in-residence program.