Artists Space

We Dig Repetition: Peter Roehr
Curated by Mark Webber

July 9, 2010, 7pm

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 (1944-1968), 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. – MW

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

Peter Roehr, Filmmontagen I, 1965, 16mm film, 9 minutes
Peter Roehr, Tonmontagen I, 1965, audiotape, 34 minutes
Peter Roehr, Filmmontagen II, 1965, 16mm film, 7 minutes
Peter Roehr, Tonmontagen II, 1965, audiotape, 26 minutes
Peter Roehr, Filmmontagen III, 1965, 16mm film, 5 minutes

Part of an ongoing film series organized by Thomas Beard and Ed Halter for Artists Space.

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.

Special thanks to Paul Maenz and Estate Peter Roehr, Berlin.