ryan gander - the last work
16 Mar - 22 Apr 2007
What does it mean for an artist to stop working? British artist Ryan Gander (b. Chester, 1976) asks himself this question in his presentation at Docking Station, the Stedelijk Museum CS’s project space for the latest developments on the international art scene.
Gander is showing The Last Work, which is a new work and, for the time being, his last one. For an unspecified period of time, Gander will cease to reflect on his artistic direction – at a moment when interest in his work is greater than ever. At Docking Station, he is taking a close look at artistic practice and the artist’s relationship with his studio.
Gander has transformed the space of Docking Station into a room painted in monochrome blue, in which an audio work is presented. The visitor hears a girl’s whispering voice. She expresses thoughts about the nature of artistic practice. Anyone who takes the trouble to enter right into the space gets to see the visual part of this installation: a video in which Gander presents the journey from his studio to his house. Gander: ‘It’s taking the spectator by the hand, taking them on that walk. It’s quite significant that it is a walk from studio to home, because it’s about what it means to consider stopping, ending.’
Ryan Gander’s work comes in a variety of forms. He creates objects and installations, gives talks that should be regarded as performances, publishes books and writes scripts for television series. He enters into collaborative projects with filmmakers, typographers and designers. This artist ingeniously interweaves fact and fiction in his oeuvre and plays with principles derived from modernist and conceptual art practices. In 2003, Gander made his solo debut at Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam with the exhibition ‘The Death of Abbé Faria’, a mysterious installation about a fictitious character for whom post still arrives at the Stedelijk even today.
Ryan Gander was born in 1976 in Chester. He studied at Manchester Metropolitan University, the Jan van Eyck Academie and the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten. His exhibition venues have included the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam; Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam; STORE, London; and Artist Space, New York. In 2003, Gander was the winner of the Prix de Rome. In 2005, he received the Beck’s Futures Prize for young artists at the ICA in London and also the Baloise Art Prize for emerging talent at the Basel art fair. Last year, he published the sourcebook Pure Associations in response to winning the ABN Amro Art Prize.
Stedelijk Museum Bulletin nr. 3 / 2007 (published at the end of March) features a conversation between Ryan Gander and curator Martijn van Nieuwenhuyzen.