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Peter Miller: Dear Photography

With Peter Miller: Dear Photography, C/O Berlin is presenting the first institutional solo exhibition of the artist’s work worldwide. It features key works from the last 15 years as well as numerous objects that the artist created especially for the exhibition. These include two participatory interventions that encourage visitors to take photographs in the exhibition, either with a special camera or in a special setup. The exhibition also draws connections between Miller’s photographic work

Burnt Hole Sun VIII, 2016 . Courtesy Galerie Crone Berlin/Wien

© Peter Miller, VG-Bildkunst, Bonn 2021

From a cloud of green light there emerge flickering yellow spheres. Are we wit- nessing planets taking shape? Or a spectacular display of the northern lights? Neither. These are the bioluminescent traces of fireflies lighting up as they traver- se the surface of light-sensitive photographic paper. The work of American artist Peter Miller, who lives in Germany, still hints at his childhood dream of becoming a magician. Today, however, Miller’s preoccupation with magic finds expression primarily in the media of film and photography. He also creates installations and sculptures, spatial interventions, and works drawing on the tradition of 1970s per- formance art. Utilizing a wide variety of forms and materials, he explores the history of the technical media and their constituent, irreducible elements: light, che- mistry, audience, flicker, optics, and perspective.

Photuris #13, 2013 . Courtesy Galerie Crone Berlin/Wien

© Peter Miller . VG-Bildkunst, Bonn 2021

With Miller’s focus on analog photographic practices, his work may seem ana- chronistic in the digital age. Yet the opposite is true: More and more artists have been exploring analog and darkroom processes in recent years. Their works are seen as part of an ‘analog turn’ in photography—a critical countercurrent to digital photographic practices. Peter Miller is one of the most exciting voices in this emerging movement. His work is playful and lighthearted, combining an analytical and archaeological approach to probe our everyday life for its media relevance. His works invite us to rediscover photography: In one piece, he transforms a mail- box into a darkroom (Envelope, 2020), and in another, he sends secret messages to be deciphered by photo lab assistants—whose profession is threatened with extinction by the spread of digital photography (The Letter, 2009). In yet another work, Miller brings a living tree into his lab and helps it to create a photographic self-portrait using photograms (The Leaves, 2021). He often employs a reduced technical setup, either eschewing cameras, lenses or any chemical treatment of the paper. The works that emerge from Miller’s Wunderkammer invite viewers to embark on a journey to discover analog media technologies and to reflect on how media shape the world around us. and the cinematic and performative aspects of his oeuvre. Curated by Dr. Kathrin Schönegg, C/O Berlin Foundation. The exhibition is made possible by the Capital Cultural Fund (HKF).

Polaroid Portrait, 2009 © Peter Miller . VG-Bildkunst, Bonn 2021

Peter Miller (b. 1978 in Burlington, Vermont, USA) studied fine art at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) and apprenticed to be a silversmith. Through a Fulbright fellowship, he worked with experimental filmmaker Peter Tscherkassky in Vienna, followed by a position at the Friedl Kubelka School for independent film. Later, through a DAAD fellowship, he worked with Matthias Müller at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne. His work has been shown in international exhibitions such as SFMOMA (2019), the 57th Venice Biennale (2017), Biennale for Contem- porary Photography in Mannheim, Ludwigshafen, Heidelberg (2017) and at inter- national film festivals in Berlin (2017), London (2012), Rotterdam (2009, 2013, 2015), Toronto (2012) and Vienna (2013, 2016). Peter Miller has been a professor of photography and time-based media at Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen, since 2018. He lives in Essen and Paris.

Peter Miller: Dear Photography

C/O Berlin Foundation. Amerika Haus

Hardenbergstr. 22–24 . 10623 Berlin

until December 3, 2021
Daily 11:00–20:00

C/O Berlin in the Amerika Haus © David von Becker

C/O Berlin is an exhibition space for photography and visual media. As a nonprofit organization, C/O Berlin presents works by respected artists, supports emerging talents, and welcomes everyone to discover contemporary visual culture. As a place to exchange new ideas, C/O Berlin organizes Artist Talks, Panel Discussions, Film Screenings and guided tours, offering visitors a place to exchange thoughts on the exhibition program and engage in current debates on visual culture. Supporting emerging talents is an integral aspect of C/O Berlin’s mission. The yearly C/O Berlin Talent Award is the only prize in Europe to recognize an Artist and a Theorist aged 35 years old or younger.

C/O Berlin Education completes the offerings and covers the important area of visual training and art education. The four categories Juniors, Teens, Adults and Perspectives allow participants to learn about photography, film, and design with professional guidance, and to playfully create their own works.

The C/O Berlin Foundation operates independently of commercial interests. It is financed through ticket sales, book sales, sponsorships, project grants, and donations, as well as funds from the supporters’ association C/O Berlin Friends. Since 2020/21 financial year, C/O Berlin has received funding from the Senate Department of Culture and Europe and the Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Public Enterprises.


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