6958 Roman Signer | e-flux

Hamburger Kunsthalle

This presentation of video and film projections by Roman Signer addresses a central theme of the Swiss artist’s work: the exploration of materials and time in relation to the moving image. Signer works with time as with any other artistic material to create what he calls “events” – temporary sculptures that undergo a process of transformation. Many of his works are documented using a camera or are conceived as filmed pieces.

Signer’s work frequently involves concrete objects that he sets in motion, employing a poetic visual language to develop sculptural forms and constructions. He is best known for his works involving explosives, whereby the force of gravity upon things is momentarily suspended: chairs learn how to fly; shutters open simultaneously as if pulled by some invisible hand; a streamer tied to a rocket draws a long line across a blue sky. Certain means of transport – the bicycle, the kayak and the model helicopter – are recurrent motifs in his sculptural oeuvre, which spans more than thirty years. While his works are known for their spectacular effects, they also have a subtly humorous and quietly self-contained side. He uses these objects and physical phenomena to create tragicomic images that deal with fundamental human states of being such as suffering, innocence, injustice, shock or amazement.

Over the last four decades Roman Signer has produced an extensive and varied oeuvre that encompasses sculptures, photographs and drawings. In cooperation with Helmhaus Zurich, the Hamburger Kunsthalle is presenting a selection of 33 of his film works spanning the period from 1975 to the present. These are joined by a movement-based installation piece in the atrium of the Galerie der Gegenwart, one action piece, a sculpture and two monitor installations on the basement floor.

All of the projections will be presented in specially constructed spaces on the basement floor of the Galerie der Gegenwart. The title of the exhibition reflects the visionary and prospective nature of Signer’s work.

Exhibition curators: Prof. Dr. Hubertus Gaßner and Dirck Möllmann

Hamburger Kunsthalle