Ryan Gander’s work is composed around visual puzzles and unusually composed objects that subvert expectations at every angle, and encourage viewers to sharpen their perception, within and beyond the gallery space. His practice aims to be a starting point and catalyst for thinking, and his found and made objects suggest stories that deliberately resist closure.
Exhibited as part of TECTONIC, Asian discount, 1993 by Santo Sterne by Ryan Gander (2011) was originally created within Gander’s Locked Room Scenario (2011) a warehouse in Hoxton, London in which the entire space was extensively reworked to give the impression of an abandoned exhibition space with artworks left behind. Viewers were encouraged to explore every inch of the space, including cupboards and lavatories, where they might stumble upon ‘clues’ or artworks, allowing a more engaged experience within the gallery space. This focus on the relationship between artwork and viewer was further exemplified in his presentation for dOCUMENTA 13 entitled I need some meaning I can memorise (The Invisible Pull) (2012), in which his artwork was an engineered gust of wind that occupied the main exhibition space.
“The white walls train us to be aware and explore. The world offers just as many possibilities, we’re just not acutely aware of it when we walk outside. Living is a creative act. … My artworks are the fallout of that creative process.”
Screened alongside TECTONIC, Things That Mean Things and Things That Look Like They Mean Things (2008) is a documentary tracking the making of an artwork that has no physical or identifiable reality. This imaginary piece, a film entitled “The Magic and The Meaning” is described only within the documentary, and includes discussions with art critic and filmmaker Dan Fox as well as an interview with Gander himself. Language, composition and performance are manipulated to control the reality of an object in the mind of an audience, regardless of whether it has an existence independent from its name and the discussion around it.
As well as his video works, Gander has a diverse practice that includes installation, writing, intervention and performative lecturing. He also spent a year painting a self-portrait every day, only the glass palattes used to paint them are ever seen.
Ryan Gander (b.1976) lives and works in London and Suffolk. Recent projects include Esperluette, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, FR; dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, G; Boing, Boing, Squirt, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, MX; Locked Room Scenario, commissioned by Artangel, London, UK. Recent solo shows have been held at Daiwa Press Viewing Room, Hiroshima, JP; Lisson Gallery, London, UK; gb agency, Paris, FR; Fondazione Morra Greco, Napoli, IT; Maison Hermès, Tokyo, JP; Jörg Johnen Galerie, Berlin, DE; Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam.