International Museum Exhibitions

The following guide to museum shows currently on view is compiled from Artforum’s three-times-yearly exhibition preview. Subscribe now to begin a year of Artforum—the world’s leading magazine of contemporary art. You’ll get all three big preview issues, featuring Artforum’s comprehensive advance roundups of the shows to see each season around the globe.

Roman Signer, Unfall als Skulptur (Accident as Sculpture), 2008. Performance view, Kunstraum Dornbirn, Austria, 2008.

Roman Signer

KUNSTMUSEUM ST. GALLEN
ST. GALLEN, SWITZERLAND
Through October 26
Curated by Roland Wspe and Konrad Bitterli

Roman Signer is the only artist that I know of who possesses an official license to blow things up. And it isn’t just for show. The Swiss artist, who creates much of his work outside, takes his sweeping native landscape as his studio, often staging destructive processes and massive performances involving fire. Though this exhibition will be installed predominantly indoors, it will nevertheless feature Signer’s signature alchemical transformations of everyday objects (such as chairs, tables, or a model helicopter) into assemblages of newly exploded elements. Viewer wariness is not entirely unjustified: To be sure, there are various levels of pyrotechnic accreditation in Switzerland, and Signer apparently has the authority to detonate any object he likes save for entire buildings. Which is to say: Will there be rockets in this show? Yes. But the kunstmuseum itself is likely to survive.

Daniel Birnbaum