Monday, September 5, 2011

Archiv Peter Piller fall opening exhibition

Archiv Peter Piller


2 September - 1 October, 2011
Photographs you see everyday but take no notice of, photographs that have no value and the photographs that are easily forgotten. These are the photographs that the German artist Peter Piller finds most interesting. These are the photographs that he brings back from oblivion by displaying them in his exhibitions.

It was while he was working as a picture editor for an advertising agency in Hamburg, that Piller assembled a personal archive of thousands of images from German regional newspapers. Using these images without captions, he sorted them into thematic groups like, flower displays, accidents, vandalism, and people receiving retirement gifts; all the activities of everyday life that are reproduced in local newspapers. What Piller has created from these bland images is a typology of events that take place in suburban Germany, that for a short moment appear on the pages of local newspapers than disappear. When viewing these different disparate groups of photographs you become aware of the important role photography plays in defining social beliefs and customs.

Piller’s interest in the unassuming and seemingly unimportant photographs involves more than newspaper photographs. He has made projects that involve using picture postcards and collecting images from the internet. One of his most celebrated projects has been Von Erde schöner (More Beautiful from Above) of aerial photographs of homes that were given to Piller by a company that was hoping to sell the prints back to the homeowners. The business was a failure, so Piller subsequently archived and categorised the images into unusual selections such as homes that were built next to graveyards, homes with swimming pools, homes with tents erected in the garden and homes with red bed linen hanging from windows.

For his first exhibition at Brancolini Grimaldi London he will include work from his newspaper archive, plus photographs from More Beautiful from Above.

Peter Piller was born in Fritzlar in the former West Germany in 1968. He studied at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg, and from 1997 he worked in the media agency Carat, cataloguing regional newspapers. Since 2005 he has taught at Hochschule für Grafik and Buchkunst (Academy of Visual Arts), Leipzig where in 2006 he was appointed Professor of Photography. Piller was awarded the 2006 Bâlose Art Prize presented at the Art Statement of Art Basel for his project Unresolved Cases, and in 2004 he received the Ars Viva Award from by the Federation of German Industries. In 2007 Christoph Keller Editions and JRP|Ringier published a 348-page book entitled Archiv Peter Piller: Zeitung that featured many of the newspapers images that Piller has collected and catalogued. A 320-page book of the project Von Erde schöner (More Beautiful from Above) was published by Revolver in 2004 that included 313 colour prints. He has had many one-person exhibitions and currently (25 June – 28 August, 2011) has a large survey exhibition of his work at the Kunstverein Braunschweig.

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