The first gallery is given over to a single work in which the artist has attempted to knock over a grid of standing wooden posts. Viewers are able to walk around the precarious installation.
Kayaks are a recurring motif in Signer’s work, and two of these appear in the main gallery. One has been launched into the wall of the gallery using a catapult, released after a candle burnt through a rope. The resulting debris will be left untouched throughout the exhibition’s run. A second kayak artwork sees the boat filled with over 200 litres of whisky donated by William Grant and Sons Ltd, in a strange and playful reversal of the vessel’s usual relationship with water. In other works, a steel cannon is pointed at an open tent and bottles of whisky are suspended on strings and blown in circles by electrical fans.
Roman Signer was born in Appenzell, Switzerland, in 1938. He studied at the Schule für Gestaltung, Zurich, in 1966, the Schule für Gestaltung, Lucerne, between 1969 – 1971 and at the Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw, from 1971 – 1972. He lives and works in St. Gallen.
Presented in association with the Barbican. Exhibition supported by Pro Helvetia, with thanks to Galerie Hauser & Wirth and William Grant and Sons Ltd.