Dieter Roth and Björn Roth Book & Printed Matter Lab

18 Feb – 21 May 2017, Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles

Seydisfjördur Slides – Every View of a Town
1988 – 1995

The Hauser & Wirth Book & Printed Matter Lab is a project devoted to exploring the important place that books and prints occupy in the practice of artists. Building upon Hauser & Wirth’s curatorial and publishing activities, the Lab presents thematic installations, displays, and programming that invite reflection, creative thinking, and further conversation about the world of printed matter and its connection to artists’ ideas and objectives.

This special edition of the Book & Printed Matter Lab is dedicated to Dieter Roth and Björn Roth. The Lab brings together the slide projections, the original artist book, and the re-published booklet ‘Dieter Roth. Reykjavík Slides (31,035) Every View of a City’ to present the artists’ deep exploration of Icelandic architecture in the town of Seydisfjördur.

Featuring hundreds of slides shown simultaneously on multiple projectors, ‘Seydisfjördur Slides’ was inspired by the distinctive character of Icelandic architecture and documents the small Icelandic town of Seydisfjördur. The project goes back to an idea Dieter Roth had in the 1950ies when he first moved to Iceland: ‘At the time began my infatuation with this kind of housebuilding. (…) I imagined myself as a collector of photographs, showing to other architecture-fans this wonder of housemaking.’

‘Seydisfjördur Slides’ was produced with the assistance of his son Björn Roth and Eggart Einarsson in 1988. Over 800 slides immortalize every single house and building in the town of Seydisfjördur, in the Eastern region of Iceland. Two slide collections show the town in winter and summer complementing each other.

The work draws one’s attention to the subject matter of the project, rather than the role of the artist. Roth uses a didactic approach to create an homage to Iceland and an act of dedication to the singularity of Seydisfjördur. In seeing the mundane views of this small town as worthy of admiration, Roth allowed life itself to communicate as art.