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Weightless and suspended in air 'Explosive' Swiss artist Roman Signer turns 80

Roman Signer is best known for his exploding landscape performance pieces. His art is playful, full of humour and of brutal (yet quiet) poetry. Now the trailblazing Swiss performance artist turns 80. (SRF,

Signer grew up in Appenzell. After an apprenticeship as a draftsman, he became a sculptor and finally continued his artistic education in Warsaw in the early 1970s. He gained international recognition for his performances in public spaces. Today, Signer lives in St Gallen.

His performance art gave him a name as a demolition expert. But this reputation does not do justice to Signer’s work. He is not interested in the blast, but in the transformation of things that is triggered by it: not the destruction, but the many possibilities that can result from an explosion.

Roman Signer is not a physicist – as he’s stated in the past, he doesn’t seek to explain the laws of nature. He tries to make his work intuitive. What does he like? As he told Swiss Public Television, SRF in a 1981 interview, “The moment when we have the impression that things are weightless and suspended in air.”

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