press release

Archiv Peter Piller Kraft Villa Salve Hospes

From June 25 to August 28, 2011, the Kunstverein Braunschweig is devoting a long-overdue solo exhibition to the noted artist Peter Piller. Piller (*1968 in Fritzlar, lives in Leipzig and Hamburg) is a photographer, draftsman, and collector. For his Archiv Peter Piller he assembles large quantities of image material from newspapers, postcards, the Internet, or photographic estates, arranging them to create thematic and formal series, such as In Lőcher blicken (Looking into Holes, newspaper archive), Schlafende Häuser (Sleeping Houses, aerial image archive), or Hintergrundfarben (Background Colors, Internet archive). By artistically de- and recontextualizing this material, Piller makes visible the hidden typologies of photojournalism and the absurdities of our ordinary, day-to-day reality, creating a sometimes humorous yet scrutinizing portrait of our everyday culture. The viewer is confronted by photographs that, although they may have become imbedded in our collective memory as universally familiar, have been removed from the functional context of their origin and therefore challenge us to produce new connections.

Besides his archival work, Peter Piller documents places, paths, and everyday situations in his own series of photos. During his wanderings through the periphery of cities such as Hamburg (1993), Bonn (2006), and Graz (2010), he roamed through areas at the boundary between populated and undeveloped land, urban and rural regions. The pictures do not describe a specific regional context, but yield a field of quite contradictory and heterogeneous images in which subjective experience plays a major role.

Peter Piller's most recent photo series are closely linked to his own day-to-day life – a look at his Hamburg neighborhood of Lurup or commuting by car between Hamburg and Leipzig. Piller captures the curious, melancholic, boring, recurring, or humorously unique in countless photographs, as he did in the series Kraft (2010), in which he took pictures of the logo of the Kraft company at all times of the day and whatever the weather as he drove by in his car at different speeds. Depending on the sharpness and quality of the photograph, the meaning of the word (strength), which due to the seriality of the slide projection becomes a term that virtually lacks context, also appears to change.

Peter Piller studied at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg, and as professor of photography has taught at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig since 2006. After numerous group and solo exhibitions, Piller's older and recent works have been assembled for the first time for this survey at the Kunstverein Braunschweig. He has published numerous artist's books on his work, some of which are already out of print. An illustrated book is being published in conjunction with the exhibition by Christoph Keller Editions and JRP|Ringier.

Ariel Schlesinger Catastrophe Is Subjective Remise

Born in Jerusalem in 1980, Ariel Schlesinger lives and works in Berlin. His practice creates a tension between the materiality of mass-produced workaday objects, and the function these objects were intended for. The artist introduces a subtle disruption to consumer goods, not by dramatically modifying their external appearance, but rather by 'enhancing hidden aspects of their existence'. In renewing how we regard such objects he makes an often trivial reality sublime.

Archiv Peter Piller: Kraft
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Ariel Schlesinger: Catastrophe Is Subjective