Roman Signer «Balloon in Front of Waterfall» 1982.


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Balloon for Wasserfall (Balloon in Front of Waterfall), 1982
videostill.

«The forest, the rivers, the fields surrounding St. Gallen (Switzerland) where Signer lives, his workshop, or some completely ordinary urban scenes have served as the 'settings' of these actions. The Super-8 filming consists in a fixed long take which records the entire action, with some very rare link shots, as required by the spatial coverage. No sound.»

«The video recordings that followed use the same minimalist documentary methods. The action is all-important, and the image acquires artwork status through being one of its traces. For example: a red balloon is being dragged along by a piece of wood to which it is attached by a string. The piece of wood is carried away by a little stream; when the stream drops away suddenly at a small waterfall, will the piece of wood fly away, attached to the red balloon? No, on the contrary, it drags the red balloon down with it, taking it off-camera. This inversion of physical laws (a balloon should fly up, not fall down), explained by the greater weight of the stick, captures all the poetry and all the humour of Signer, attached as he is to the ridiculous magic of micro-events.»

sources: e-flux.com, newmedia-art.org