The first publication in English of Dieter Roth’s complete interviews
The oeuvre of Dieter Roth (1930-1998) encompasses painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, film, video, music, typography, design, architecture and, last but not least, literature. ‘His books alone would give him a place of honour in 20th-century art,’ wrote Richard Hamilton, who championed Roth very early on. But is there a philosophy that ties it all together? What intellectual design, what personality stands behind this immense body of work? In his interviews, Roth offered many surprising and fascinating clues to his life and thought. Yet the majority of the interviews were in German, some even in Swiss German. With this book, all thirty-eight interviews are available in English, in full, for the first time.
Included are the essential conversations with Irmelin Lebeer-Hossmann in 1976 and 1979, the Hamilton interviews, and also the very intimate interview Roth conducted with Patrick Frey just a few days before his death. For Roth, whose expectation of art was that it not be harmless, but show what is, the interviews were an attempt to depict what happens when speaking – one makes slips of the tongue and loses one’s train of thought, different languages get spoken and misunderstandings arise. He always expressed himself frankly and unguardedly.
For anyone who wants to become acquainted with Dieter Roth – the artist and thinker-about-art as well as the human being – there is no better, more amusing and authentic introduction to be found than the richly illustrated collection at hand, which also presents many of his poems and prose texts in English for the first time.