Roman Signer. Films and Installation
With a treasure of more than two hundred films and a series of new installations created for this occasion, the project at MAN Museum, curated by Lorenzo Giusti and Li Zhenhua, is the first solo exhibition of Roman Signer in an Italian museum.
Signer began his career as an artist in the second half of the 1960s, after working as an architect’s draftsman, an apprentice radio engineer and, for a short time, as a technician in a pressure cooker factory. Known for having defined a new concept of sculpture linked to process, transformation and movement, Signer created installations as actions, experiments, almost always solitary, for which he employed objects of everyday use (umbrellas, tables, boots, containers, hats, bicycles) activated by gunpowder or natural forces such as wind and water. These were processes mostly of explosions and collisions, visually and emotionally intriguing, which interpreted the empirical approach as an artistic challenge.
The MAN exhibition will be divided into two sections. The first, the result of cooperation with the Chronos Art Center of Shanghai, presents the artist’s entire production of Super 8 films, a collection of 205 works covering from 1975 to 1989, the year in which Signer abandoned film and turned to other media. It is presented in a fascinating 100-channel video installation created in China and proposed here in a new, enhanced and further developed version. The video footage was shot in his San Gallo “workshop” or in natural settings, mostly in Weissbad (Canton Appenzell).
The second part of the project presents three new sculptural works created for the MAN exhibition, as always connoted by a subtle irony.Of these works, Ombrelli (2016) is a site-specific installation for the museum’s staircase, a bizarre arrangement of umbrellas held together in an unstable equilibrium. Installazione (2016) is a sculpture that fills an entire room of the museum, a surreal itinerary that meditates on perception of the self and one’s body, in which the observer becomes the object observed. The itinerary comes to an end with Occhiali (2016), where the light radiated by a Super 8 projector is altered by eye glasses. The sculpture is an unusual object, which seems to give an ironic view of the artist’s production, on the border between sculpture and video, stillness and movement, action and vision.
The exhibition is completed with a catalogue containing texts by Lorenzo Giusti, Li Zhenhua, Barbara Casavecchia and Rachel Withers. Besides the documentation of his new works, the catalogue will also come with a DVD presenting a collection of Signer’s activities in Italy, starting from the early 1990s, in places such as Civitella d’Agliano, Stromboli, the Maremma region, and also Venice at the time of the 1999 Biennial.
Roman Signer. Films and Installations is a project of the MAN Museum, curated by Lorenzo Giusti and Li Zhenhua, in cooperation with the CAC-Chronos Art Center of Shanghai, with the technical partnership of the WTI International Co. Limited, the support of Pro Helvetia and the contribution of the Sardinian Region, the Province of Nuoro and the Fondazione di Sardegna.
Museo MAN, Nuoro22.03-03.07.2016
.Ph: Confini visivi
April 8, 2016