We Dig Repetition: Peter Roehr

Date: 24 November 2009 | Season: Miscellaneous

Tuesday 24 November 2009, at 7:30pm
New York Light Industry

“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.

Peter Roehr, Film-Montagen I-III, 1965, 16mm film, 23 minutes
Peter Roehr, Ton-Montagen I-II, 1965, audiotape, 60 minutes

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)

Introduction by Mark Webber. Screening repeated Friday 9 July 2010 at Artists Space, New York.