This show at The Barbican is on for about 3 months, during which time artist Roman Signer’s slow-moving kayak will have travelled 450 miles, the distance from London to his home in Zurich. The passage of time and our perception of it are his ongoing concerns. His exploration of both fast and slow time are shown here: Slow Movement has a red kayak led through the Curve space at a slower-than-walking pace up and down the gallery then being turned round at each end by the lead and leaving a red mark like a crayon on the specially laid wooden floor. These two people look as if they’re taking it out for a walk.Two other pieces are on show here: Eskimo Roll where the artist, with his bike attached to the kayak with a rope, causes it to spin in a continuing Eskimo roll, one of the first things you learn when kayaking as it’s a crucial life-saving manoeuvre.
This film was the rehearsal (hence a blue, not signature red kayak) for a commission which ended up being a finished piece, partly, I suspect because of the cows. They’re the real stars in it. The artist sits in a kayak dragged behind a van going at 30-40 km per hour. Needless to say, the kayak is completely trashed by the end of it. I’m amazed his trousers didn’t catch fire from the friction as even the inner seat had disintegrated.Other kayaks are in different locations within the Barbican as you can see This looks as if it is dipping into water rather than being suspended between two levels. and in the outdoor plaza – the ideal place to cool off after the van piece.