11 April - 16 June 2013
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I imagine certain scenarios ... But when I do an action it might turn out completely different. That’s the adventure. I’m actually looking for small adventures in art. Otherwise art gets boring.
— Roman Signer
Swiss artist Roman Signer is a self-proclaimed “tinkerer,” who thinks up most of his ideas in the bathtub. For the past 40 years, Signer has staged carefully choreographed, fleeting “experiments” that play with the fundamental forces of gravity, wind, water, and fire, often toward absurd ends. For example, in Cap with Rocket (Mütze mit Rakete), 1983, Signer attached a string from a firework to a knitted hat pulled over his head. The firework explodes into the air and whisks the hat off Signer’s head to reveal his face. Sometimes staged privately in the Swiss mountains or forest, actions such as these are documented in straightforward videos and photographs.
56 Kleine Helikopter (56 Small Helicopters), 2008
3 minutes 10 seconds
Hemd (Shirt), 2009
1 minute 1 second
Zwei Schirme (Two Umbrellas, Iceland), 2009
1 minute 37 seconds
All videos courtesy artist and Hauser & Wirth, Zurich
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Roman Signer was born in Appenzell, Switzerland in 1938. Since the early 1970s his work has been shown extensively throughout europe, and he represented Switzerland in the 48th Venice Biennale in 1999. Rarely seen in the United States, Signer’s recent solo exhibitions in the US include Young Projects, Los angeles (2011), Swiss institute, new York (2010) and Rochester art Center, Rochester, minnesota (2008). He lives and works in St. gallen, Switzerland.