Mehdi Chouakri

Peter Roehr

20 Sep - 02 Nov 2013

Peter Roehr
UNTITLED (TY-93), 1965
3.3 X 4 CM (IMAGE)
17.5 X 15 CM (SHEET)
Sept Notes Sur Le Travail de Peter Roehr
20 September - 2 November 2013

Curated by Saâdane Afif

Men had not yet been to the moon, fax machines were still waiting to be invented, and the term digital was of no practical relevance: We are talking of the 1960’s, by now half a century ago. But the spirit of this period, seemingly so far away, so historical, layed ground for some of the finest artistic concepts and attitudes–qualities which in part even survived the shattering momentum of Postmodernism and the so-called ”end of the avant-gardes” around 1980. And it is the rich spirit of the 1960’s which–welcome or not–still haunts and often enough inspires the art of today, offering a solid frame of reference and attitudes; indeed a weird kind of mirror effect, an often subconscious guide-line and mind-structuring mental pattern...
This given, Paul Maenz, administrator of the estate of Peter Roehr (1944-1968), commisssioned the Berlin-based artist Saâdane Afif with curating an exhibition of works by Roehr at the Mehdi Chouakri gallery. The idea was to provoke a fresh re-reading and a contemporary look at Roehr’s artistic concept–young fifty years ago, historical now...
Peter Roehr died untimely, only 24 years old, yet leaving behind some 600 works: ”Montagen”, i.e. objects, films, sound pieces etc., produced between 1962 and 1967, all following the same undramatic structural concept. Their appearance is straight and obvious. As Rudi Fuchs stated in his catalogue for the 1977 van Abbemuseum show: ”The clear and simple works of Peter Roehr are readable because their structural aspects are eminently visible. Their surface-structure coincides with their depth-structure. They are totally comprehensible as to what they are and are meant to be: a precise and linear organization of identical and prefabricated elements (...) Acceptance of the art of Peter Roehr does not rest upon the critical scrutiny of individual works (as to visual strength or variety or beauty) but on the discussion of axiomatic propositions.”
While Roehr’s oeuvre met with growing acceptance over the years and–accompanied by scholarly publications–since long can be found in major museums and important private collections, the intellectual discourse is still going on.
Saâdane Afif’s curatorial approach is marked by a Lecture Performance–SEPT NOTES SUR LE TRAVAIL DE PETER ROEHR–during the opening of the exhbition, performed by an opera singer and a pianist: Friday, September 20, 2013 at 6 pm, 7 pm and 8 pm.
The Lecture Performance will be recorded and available as an audio guide during the exhibition (till November 2, 2013). Furthermore a booklet as well as an exhibition catalogue will be published.

Tags: Saâdane Afif, Rudi Fuchs, Peter Roehr