In the mid 1990s the German artist Peter Piller worked at a Hamburg press agency while studying art. His job was to collect clippings and monitor where and how the paid ads of regional advertising clients and companies actually appeared in print. Like Richard Prince during his job at theTime Life Company (which provided the source of inspiration for his now world-famous Cowboysseries), Peter Piller discovered particular photographs while daily surveying the press, which he then set aside and organized into categories, such as Auto Berühren (Touching Car), Noch ist nichts zu sehen (Bauerwartungsflächen) (Nothing Yet to Be Seen (Prospective Building Sites), and Schiessende Mädchen (Shooting Girls). Over the years he compiled these images into his Archive Peter Piller, now comprising over 7,000 images, which the artist continues to investigate by sorting and arranging the images into different thematic series. With the exhibition Document Control the Fotomuseum Winterthur offers a look into this extensive archive.
In Piller’s work the relationship between image and text is an important criteria for the classification of photographs. Where others might not notice anything particular, through repeated, concentrated observation the artist has developed a delicate sensibility that allows him to discern the hidden qualities of photographs taken for ordinary purposes. Arranged in groups and coded by titles, the found or assembled visual material is placed in different contexts.
Submitted by Daniela Schwendimann