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"Roman Signer: Works 1971 - 2000"
2000-10-14 until 2001-01-31
This is special exhibition of
works by the Swiss artist Roman Signer. Under the title Roman Signer: Works 1971 - 2000, more than eighty works by
this artist have been assembled to reveal his ingenuity and together they give insights into the coherence between
Signer's works and the scope they cover.
Signer became famous through his Aktionen. He submerges himself in a kayak, for instance, then uses explosives to
saw it into seven pieces, or sets it upright in an oil drum. He also has a black ring of smoke escape from an exploded
aerosol can and catapults a stool out of a hotel window using an elastic band. Captured on Super-8 film, these
Aktionen - performances - were, for a long time, a 'hot tip' among art lovers and Signer became the artists' artist.
Nowadays, it's hard to find important international exhibitions where Signer's films, videos and photo sequences, or his
sculptures and installations, are not represented, such as his recent participation in the Biennale in Venice.
Despite being an international focus of attention, the exposure that important aspects of Signer's work receive remains
one-sided. All the attention is on the spectacular side of his work - the use of explosives - and emphasis is rarely placed
on the relationship between his Aktionen on the one hand, and the films, videos, sculptures and installations that they
give rise to on the other.
Roman Signer: Works 1971 - 2000 demonstrates that since the Seventies, Signer's oeuvre has lost nothing of its
topicality - it has even gained in significance, in fact. Temporary models, scale-models and stage-like arrangements
leave contemporary art plenty of leeway for doubt and the anecdotal, and allow a playful approach to heavy subjects.
Signer's explosive but at once light-footed performances seem, from the outset, infused with this strategy.
The exhibition was organised by the curator, Paula van den Bosch, working closely with Roman Signer. The accent is
on the Super-8 films and photo sequences.
Roman Signer: Works 1971-2000 also exhibits sculptures from early and later periods, installations and recent video
works. The exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated magazine.