(selected by Chris Evans)
Portrait of Marie Aurore, 2003
The work of London-based artist Ryan Gander is multi-faceted, ranging through installation, sculpture, intervention, writing and performative lecturing. Much of his work is concerned with tweaking common objects, situations or systems, and planting his own often inexplicable narratives within them. His works assemble seemingly disparate objects, actions and texts to develop narrative systems, characterised by conceptual rigor, visual simplicity and allusive text, albeit underpinned by a dry humour.
Gander creates situations, temporary sculptural or social events that play with and amplify the context of their circumstances. Often the effect of his work is to simply exaggerate the things that he finds around him, making them appear simultaneously both familiar and unfamiliar, in a desire to induce a sense of uncertainty in the viewer.
Arts discursive potential is an important element, in its potential to encourage or stimulate dialogue, using language and the multiple potentials inherent in words as material. His installations are generally minimal, since each single object (advertisements, found objects, posters) is charged with meaning.
Gander has made a series of works based on fictitious characters, such as 'Abbe Faria' and 'Marie Aurore', presenting the viewer with partially told stories that are never resolved. In these works Gander furnishes the viewer with a number of different keys for reading and interpreting them, offering a stage and characters as catalyst, into which the viewers can project themselves and complete their own narratives.
Gander's first solo exhibition was held in March 2002 at the International 3 Gallery in Manchester, accompanied by a monograph entitled In a language you dont understand. In 2003, Gander published the artists book Appendix, had a solo exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam and was awarded the Prix de Rome for sculpture (the national Dutch art prize).
An Incomplete History of Ideas, Gander's recent solo exhibition at Cornerhouse, Manchester (2004), featured 'Loose Associations (Version 2:1)', a performance lecture reminiscent of a conversation amongst friends around a table in a pub, where the subject roams aimlessly, linked only by seemingly trivial facts.
Published to accompany the show was a limited edition book in a faux-simplistic style taking the form of a children's book, The Boy Who Always Looked Up. The book describes the events leading up to the death of the modernist architect Erno Goldfinger as seen through the eyes of a boy who lives in the shadow of Goldfingers Trellick Tower (1973), in Notting Hill, London.
Gander (b. 1976, Chester) studied at Manchester Metropolitan University, the Jan Van Eyck Akademie, Maastricht, and the Rijksacademie, Amsterdam. He is represented by the Store Gallery, London and Annet Gelink, Amsterdam. Forthcoming shows include The world, abriged, (Kettles Yard, Cambridge, 5 March 1 May 2005), Project Room. A show without works, (Spazio Lima, Milan, Italy, 18 24 March 2005) and The Mighty Fort, Vijfhuizen, The Netherlands, 2005.
Gander has been shortlisted for Becks Futures 2005 and the winner will be announced on 18 March.
Project Room. A show without works
Project Room. A show without works, curated by Daniele Perra, bares the inner workings of the creativity behind art, exposing the processes that form the works foundation, recounting them and... read on
The Death of Abbé Faria
The Death of Abbe Faria perhaps suggests a great drama, but fiction is the key idea. At most, images occur only in the viewer's head. Who is Abbe Faria, really? We know him a bit from the... read on
But it was all green
'But it was all green was an installation that incorporated a black flip-dot display, the type usually seen at bus stations providing information of destinations. Ganders flip-dot display did not... read on