ExhibReview – Roman Signer: Slow Movement – Barbican Centre, London

In this exhibition, we see Signer return with the long standing feature of his work, the Kayak

Roman Signer: Slow Movement at The Curve, Barbican Centre.

Roman Signer: Slow Movement at The Curve, Barbican Centre.

From a personal interest in Kayaking, Roman Signer started using the Kayak as a symbol in his work in the 1980’s. Using the simple form of the kayak in both sculptural installations and video work, Signer examines the role of cause and effect in the relationship between man made materials and natural forces. He examines the rhythms found in everyday life examining forces such as suspension to acceleration

Slow Movement, this commission which is the main feature of his exhibition at the Curve at the Barbican, examines this further. Utilising the whole of the space, Signer has a kayak constantly travelling from one end of the curve to the other. Moving at slightly slower than walking pace, the kayak goes back and fourth representing the experience of Time. Although lacking somewhat it its content, visitors can move freely right up to the kayak and move in and out of its path as it moves down the curve which added to its appeal.

Kayak on the terrace of the Barbican Centre as part of Roman Signer's exhibition.

Kayak on the terrace of the Barbican Centre as part of Roman Signer’s exhibition.

At either end of the room are two of Signers other works. At one end we have Eskimo Roll a video in which Signer rides a bike attached to a kayak by string. As he cycles away the kayak rotates. At the other end we have Kayak, in which we see Signer in a Kayak being towed along a road. There are themes which are present in all three works. Primarily the kayak’s relationship with movement. The kayaks form is utilised in ways for which it was not made. The exhibition continues in the lobby where there is an kayak suspended from the ceiling and then out on the terrace, where a Kayak has been placed on one of the Barbican’s water fountains.

Roman Signer: Slow Movement is at the Barbican Centre in London until 31st May 2015.

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