Since the mid 1970s Roman Signer''s work has examined the forces of the elements - air, fire, earth and water - in a combination of performance (documented by photography and video) and sculpture (the physical remains of his acts). With a Dadaist love for the absurd, his artworks include "Race" (1981), a video performance in which the artist races a lit fuse across a field (hopelessly behind from the outset, the artist loses by nearly the entire length); "Action at Hotel Weissbad" (1992), in which an ordinary table is shot out a hotel window, the resulting photographs showing a table flying incongruously over a sleepy, snowy Swiss village; "Falling from a Bridge" (1980), in which wooden boxes are dropped from a great height into a rushing river, bursting into fragments with a thunderous crash; and "Bicycle with Rockets" (1991), the photographs of which show a fiery bicycle flying through the gallery like a demon comet. Often Signer will exhibit in the gallery the remains of an event not witnessed by the public, such as four empty barrels and a violently splattered wall, the remains of an explosion of paint in the gallery space ("Portrait Gallery", 1993), or four sand piles with perfectly round craters on each, the neat results of four fuse explosions at their top ("Cones of Sand", 1988). Roman Signer is an extremely respected artist worldwide. He represented Switzerland at the 1999 Venice Biennale and was included in Documenta 8 (1987) and Skulptur Projekte Munster (1997), among many other group exhibitions. Over the course of the past 25 years he has shown at nearly all the key European museums and kunsthalles. American venues have included the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (1998) and the Renaissance Society in Chicago (1991).
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