Roman Signer

Kunsthal Aarhus and Kvadrat are proud to present the preeminent Swiss artist Roman Signer.

The Swiss artist Roman Signer (b. 1938) has been an important and influential voice in contemporary art for four decades. In his artistic practice Signer has defined his own peculiar approach to sculpture, often referred to as ‘time sculptures’, blurring the distinction between action and sculpture, between land art and conceptual art, and always taking the potential of change and transformation over time as central components. Signer is not the conventional artist who uses conventional materials. One of the main characteristics of his work is the continuos use of natural elements such as water, earth, air or fire, ever-changing combined with objects like barrels, balloons, boots, a fan and means of transport like bicycles, skis, kayaks or drones. Elements that concerted open unexpected, often poetic relationships.

The solo exhibition at Kunsthal Aarhus titled Installation includes 11 new works from 2016 –17. All are typical examples of how Signer’s work often requires either the patience for something to happen or present an already happened rapid change or erupted action.

The central installation Raum mit Glocke (Room With Bell) (2017) is constructed of four aluminium walls accessible from two sides. Inside a lawn mower is moving in straight lines — incidentally ringing the bell hung from the ceiling. The work is active Tuesday through Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4.45 p.m.

Signer's working method is influenced by curiosity and chance — always with a twist of humor, absurdity and certain interest in explosives. In Aus allen Richtungen (From All Directions) (2016) the rotating fireworks simulate the possibility of a sudden explosion. ”To me, an explosion is a kind of mental liberation. First there is the tension, then the fear, and then the liberation.”

Signer either captures this moment of anticipation or confronts the viewer with the ‘traces’, the result of the action, just as in the two older sculptural works Quatre bidons gonflés (1994) and Stiefel mit Holzbalken (1995) that he has selected for the exhibition. In Schuss nach hinten (2017) the residue of an explosion is visible while Rot, Gelb, Blau (Red, Yellow, Blue) (2016) shows how three remote controlled drones have left permanent red, yellow and blue paintball marks.

Outside in front of Kunsthal Aarhus, Flying and painting (2016) presents the result of another experiment, where the artist has used a drone to create an abstract painting on the walls of a shipping container. The work was originally commissioned by Kvadrat together with the piece House (2017), a new site-specific sculpture on the company’s grounds in Ebeltoft (will be exhibited in the period 16 June–13 August). The permanent work consists of a stylised house made of steel, with an inverted roof that creates a basin collecting rainwater inside the construction. Besides the sculptures three separate films are shown, capturing three actions whose existence is limited in time, and which have been realized without the presence of an audience.

Exhibition period: 16 June–13 August 2017
Opening: 16, 5pm with the participation of the artist
The work House will be exhibited at Kvadrat Headquarter in Ebeltoft in the period 16 June–13 August

Installation is supported by the Statens Kunstfond, Kvadrat & Pro Helvetia, the Swiss Arts Council