Roman Signer

Installation view 1997 © Roman Signer. Photo: Aleksandra Signer

Installation view 1997 © Roman Signer. Photo: Aleksandra Signer

Installation view 1997 © Roman Signer. Foto: Aleksandra Signer

Installation view 1997 © Roman Signer. Foto: Aleksandra Signer

Fontana di Piaggio [Piaggio Fountain]

1995

Mobile installation

Modified blue panel van by vehicle manufacturer Piaggio (Ape P model), black hosepipe, water

 

Location

14 different inner-city locations:

Historic section of the Landesmuseum, in front of the entrance

Salzstraße in front of the Stadtmuseum

Horsteberg, north of the choir of the Cathedral

Corner of Kirchherrengasse/Mauritzstraße

Bergstraße/Kiepenkerlplatz

Pferdegasse, in front of the Fürstenberghaus

Klemensstraße, in front of the Town Hall

Corner of Drubbel/Alter Fischmarkt

Rothenburg, in front of the former Westfälisches Museum für Archäologie (today the administrative wing of the LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur)

Loerstraße 8, in front of the Sisters of Charity’s Euthymia Centre

Prinzipalmarkt, in front of Tepe clothes shop

Harsewinkelplatz, in front of the former “Nebengebäude K” (a regional government annex)

Ludgeristrasse

Lambertikirchplatz

Temporary installation for the duration of Skulptur. Projekte in Münster 1997

 

Spazierstock [Walking Stick]

1997

Kinetic installation on water

Aluminium walking stick, rope, black hosepipe, water

Height: ca. 70 cm

 

Location

Pond in the grounds of the former zoo behind the Westfälische Schule für Musik, Himmelreichallee 50.

Temporary installation for the duration of Skulptur. Projekte in Münster 1997

 

Roman Signer

* 1938 in Appenzell, Switzerland

lives and works in St. Gallen, Switzerland

 

In Münster in 1997 Roman Signer presented two installations connected with water as an element. Fontana di Piaggio (Piaggio Fountain), a work first conceived in 1995, consisted of an aqueous blue, three-wheeler light commercial van by the Italian vehicle-maker Piaggio. Signer repurposed the van as a mobile fountain, which over the course of Skulptur. Projekte in Münster 1997 he parked in 14 different inner-city locations, always close to a hydrant. From these hydrants, water was conducted via a hosepipe to the back of the van, where it was forced through a nozzle at pressure so that it sprayed against the tin roof in a powerful jet. The water drained out through a narrow outlet pipe in the metal-panelled back of the van and seeped away into the ground.

Signer’s second contribution, Spazierstock, was created on a pond behind the Westfälische Schule für Musik. Here the artist strung a rope across the water. Hanging from the rope was an aluminium walking stick, attached to a section of rubber hose. The hose, which was connected to the public water supply on the bank, piped water through the hollow walking stick. The pressure caused the stick to swing on the rope and vigorously spray an upside-down fountain across the surface of the pond.

Roman Signer’s artistic practice and his use of natural elements situate him within the realm of sculpture.1In Münster he interpreted fountain design – an area traditionally close to sculpture – in a novel and whimsical manner. With Fontana di Piaggio he associated the fountain with the aspect of mobility and so created an experimental “event sculpture”2, while his Spazierstock commented upon and transformed the usually static but much-loved changing water displays in public parks.

 

Daniel Friedt

 

1 Konrad Bitterli (ed.), Roman Signer, exhib. cat. Swiss Pavilion / 48th Venice Biennale, Zurich, 1999, pp. 7–8. Fontana di Piaggio was likewise exhibited at the Biennale.

2 Cf. Susanne Jacob, “Roman Signer – WATER. Sculpture Between Experiment and Event”, in: Klaus Bussmann, Kasper König and Florian Matzner (eds.), Sculpture. Projects in Münster 1997, exhib. cat. Westfälisches Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Münster, Ostfildern-Ruit, 1997, pp. 390–394, here p. 392.

 

Location

  • Still existing
  • Removed