Falckenberg Collection 16 June — 26 August 2012

On the occasion of the awards ceremony for the Edwin Scharff Prize 2011 Sammlung Falckenberg in Harburg, nr. Hamburg is presenting works by Hamburg-based artist Peter Piller. Peter Piller’s original approach to the media of photography and drawing originated in his very own method of documentation, archiving and cartography. He often makes use of found images, such as photos from regional newspapers, aerial photographs of detached homes, or pictures of damage to property that an were sent to an insurance company as part of claims processing. Here, Piller is interested not least in exploring the question of how “reality” is constituted in the various media and at the different levels of representation, and, indeed, first constituted by them.

The results are astonishingly precise and coherent iconographies of images that are usually paid very little attention, but which quite irrespective of what the creators’ intentions were, have however largely gained sway at some unconscious level.

Peter Piller compiles photo archives. His archive relies on a collection of about 6,000 newspaper photos. In 2002 he took receipt of 12,000 images from an archive of aerial photos that were produced by a company in the 1970s in order to sell them door-to-door to the owners of the houses they depicted. These collections are rounded out by historical postcards, images from newspapers and finds from the Internet. Moreover, Piller often goes on hikes and usually keeps notes on them. For example, in 2005 he went on extensive hikes around the Ruhr region and in Hamburg and worked up the results photographically. In 2005 he was visiting professor at the Hamburg University of Arts and has since November 2006 been Professor of Photography in the Field of Contemporary Art at the Leipzig Academy of Graphics and Book Art.

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