‚ÄúI change material by repeating it unchanged. The message is the behaviour of the material in response to the frequency of its repetition.‚Äù Peter Roehr
Black-and-white film loops illustrate Peter Roehr‚Äôs concept of a time structure related to principles of serial music. The footage, partly shot by Roehr, and partly ‚Äòfound‚Äô, is composed of sequences of outdoor architectural spaces (tunnels, skyscrapers, traffic, bridges, etc.) and of commercial images (hair, Gulf, Mileage, etc.). While each sequence is seldom longer than 15 seconds and the montage is abstract in nature although its impact is dramatic.
Prior to enrolling at the Werkkunstschule (School of Applied Arts) in Wiesbaden, in 1962, Peter Roehr completed an apprenticeship making shop signs and luminous panels in Frankfurt. In the same year, he developed his central working principle: the repetition of elements. After his initial work in which elements were randomly distributed and stamped by hand, he soon began to employ industrially produced and systematically organised elements (objects as well as images). In 1964 he became friends with Paul Maenz who was working in advertising in Frankfurt, then later in New York. Maenz had access to numerous leaflets and prints of advertising films from which Roehr extracted elements to use in his works. Together they organised the exhibitions Serielle Formationen at Frankfurt University's 'Studio Galerie' in 1967, and Dies alles Herzchen wird einmal dir geh?¥ren/One day, my dear, all this will belong to you], Galerie Loehr, Frankfurt, 1967).
Peter Roehr discovered he had cancer in 1966. He intensified his work rate, yet received no significant public recognition during his lifetime. Peter Roehr died in 1968, aged only 24, in Frankfurt-am -Main.
Peter Roehr in Frieze, Issue 60 June-August 2001
Peter Roehr, Film montage I, 1965-68 ¬© courtesy of Peter Roehr ‚Äì Cin?©doc Paris Film Coop 2008, Paul Maenz