Roman Signer, Kayak

Roman Signer
Kayak, 2006
Gravel and kayak
Variable dimensions
Courtesy Roman Signer and Art : Concept (Paris)

The kayak is a longstanding symbol in Roman Signer's artistic vocabulary. The artist often uses it in combination with other everyday objects or natural phenomena that he appropriates in his works. Usually synonymous with motion and speed, the boat here is stranded on a pile of gravel that could be the content of a giant hourglass. This inexplicable collision seems to be the consequence of an event that has stopped the march of time.

Deprived of its function, the kayak then becomes an object with its own formal characteristics. Without meaning anything, it signals a sculpture.

Kayak is embedded in its environment and modifies the landscape by asserting its artificiality as much as its absurd and accidental nature. Imbued with a sense of tragedy and disaster, it questions our expectations and our attitude towards the unexpected and change.

Biography of the artist

Born in 1938 in Appenzel, Switzerland. Lives and works in St Gallen, Switzerland.
Roman Signer is a conceptual and processual artist who has been redefining sculpture for some 40 years. In his installations, he places great importance on the transformation of materials. As illustrated, for example, by his multiple work Kajak, begun in 1987, the artist exploits everyday objects to their limits in installations and performances that he photographs and films, thus preserving the imprint of the moment.He combines the simplicity of gestures or objects with the complexity of technical devices and physical phenomena that he triggers without wanting to control them.