ROTH 14875, ROTH 18819, ROTH 27476 Reykjavik Slides

Dieter Roth
Reykjavik Slides (31,035) Every View of a City

Past Exhibition 17 Mar – 30 Apr 2011

Dieter Roth
Reykjavik Slides (31,035) Every View of a City


Throughout his career, Dieter Roth worked with great breadth and diversity. He was a composer, musician, poet and writer as well as an artist, consciously obliterating categories and hierarchies and, through his collaborations with other artists, subverting the principle of authorship. Hauser & Wirth is delighted to present Roth’s monumental project ‘Reykjavik Slides’, on view at Hauser & Wirth London, Savile Row until 30 April 2011.

Featuring 31,035 slides shown simultaneously on multiple projectors, ‘Reykjavik Slides’ was inspired by the distinctive character of Icelandic architecture and documents every building in the capital. Made with the assistance of Pál Magnússon and the artist’s two sons, Björn and Karl, the work is a comprehensive survey, drawing one’s attention to the subject matter of the project, rather than the role of the artist.

In his work from the 1960s and 1970s, Roth liberated himself from formal and linguistic conventions. He pursued the belief that life was art, achieving this through a decision to give all things, however insignificant or unappealing, equal importance. With projects such as ‘SNOW’ (1963 – 69), a book project that involved the photographing and experimental printing of every object with which Roth came into contact; and ‘Flacher Abfall (Flat Waste)’ (1975-76 / 1992), a collection of neatly and chronologically archived items less than a third of an inch thick, Roth’s strict avoidance of hierarchy developed a unique preservation of the ephemera of his life. These projects advanced a poetic of everyday meaningfulness: ‘every slip of paper is touching,’ Roth said; ‘each day or thing sings its song’.

With ‘Reykjavik Slides’, Roth used this same didactic approach to create an homage to Iceland. The work’s numerous images present an act of dedication to the singularity of Reykjavik, Roth’s home since 1957 and, in seeing every building as worthy of admiration, Roth allowed life itself to communicate as art.

Selected Images

Reykjavik Slides

1 of 4

Installation Views



About the Artist


D. Roth was born in 1930 among the butchering Germans at that horrible stretch of time, when that cannibal, awful Hitler, Adolf, was just getting the Germans going at their best hit, butchering war. Hell was loose, but Roth survived, beatings and scoldings he survived, shitting and pissing in his timid pants, poor shaking...

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