Roman Signer: "Table with hat" (2005)
Roman Signer: "Bicycle" 2006 (detail)
Roman Signer: "Robot" 2005
the "balloon shooting" installation (2006) in the foreground
Installation of an operative telephone in a wooden box, a rotatory arm with a telephone above it
"Say it, no ideas but in things"
William Carlos Williams - "Patterson"
by G. Fernández - theartwolf.com
An ordinary hat lies in an ordinary wooden table. A weird machine, something like a giant, dangerous hairdryer hangs beside it. A calm visitor notes a strange label over a black button: 216 km/h . When the carefree visitor press the button, a sudden, brutal sound alarms all the people in the room while the black hat shots out and hits the wall. Few seconds later, the embarrassed visitor picks the hat up off the floor and drops it back on the table. The tricky installation stays quiet, silent, while waiting for his next victim . It's "Table with hat" (2005), a nice welcome to Roman Signer's world.
While "ordinary" artists use the abstract, non-specific mediums to create a recognizable idea or representation, Swiss artist Roman Signer employs the real, daily-used items in order to produce unexplaining sensations. Describing himself as a "homo faber", Signer's installations are the result of an in-depth study about the sometimes deceptive cause and effect relationship. Works by the Swiss artist give the spectators the possibility of interacting with the art, making them take part in the creative process.
The most hyped work at the gallery is "Bicycle" (2006), an old velo ripped in three parts, like subjected to a torture rack. The work -whose corpse lies in a very long room- has been creating ex profeso for this exhibition. Its ferociousness contrasts with the disturbing serenity of "Balken" (1995), an earlier work by Signer, consisting into a boot trapped into nine wood boards.
As the spectacular those work are, they cannot be compared with "Balloon shooting", an installation of two TV monitors, one in front other. One of them shows the artist aiming to the other monitor, which shows a lonely red balloon. Every half a minute or so, Signer shots and the balloon explode. Interestingly -but no really surprisingly- visitors seem reluctant to pass between the two monitors, like if a virtual bullet could be shot from the first of them, directly to their heads.
"Kayaks" (2003) is a much more ambitious work. It consists in a group of 11 vertically hanged kayaks, creating a plastic, shining, red forest. There is something ethereal in the way the kayaks are hanged, like floating in a zero-gravity field. The Wolf walk between them for a few minutes, thinking about kayaks, Coke bottles and Van Gogh cypresses. You know, art is a question about perception. And in Signer's installations, perception is the only one you can truth.