A selection of new and recent works (from 1997-2001), including a video featuring an exploding suitcase, and a sand installation stretching the length of Gallery 1 which bared traces of the artist’s journey along it on cross-country skis.
Roman Signer’s work evolves from scrupulously prepared sculptural events which take place either in the Swiss mountains where he lives (then dispatched in the form of a film, a photo sequence, or a video); or as site-specific installations which bear evidence of a past action. These ‘sculptural moments’ involve a vocabulary of simple objects and materials such as balloons, bicycles, water and wood, activated by movement or material transformation (exploding, catapulting, dragging). Signer thus creates a series of ‘successful fiascos’, where the everyday world is revealed as something ambiguously amusing that can turn inscrutable and frightening.
Signer has been making work since the mid-1970s, but it was only during the 1990s that his work became more widely known, and that his impact as a teacher and mentor to a younger generation of artists in the 1970s and 80s became evident.