Ryan Gander: Make Every Show Like It’s Your Last
Le Plateau, Place Hannah Arendt, Intersection of the Rue des Alouettes and the Rue Carducci, F- 75019, Paris
18 September - 17 November 2013
From the Press Release
The FRAC Ile-de-France/Le Plateau is currently presenting Make Every Show Like It’s Your Last, the first solo exhibition of the British artist Ryan Gander in a Paris institution. Making the most of an extremely effusive imagination, Ryan Gander does his utmost to offer us works’using any type of different media’which re-visit the conceptual art arena, and not without wit.
Proposing wind at the Kassel Documenta, producing a remake of one of the key scenes in Julian Schnabel’s biopic about Jean-Michel Basquiat, presenting sealed boxes whose contents are seemingly described by texts on the wall, associating images, captions and comments in a discursive style. Art’and in particular that art whose main subject is art itself’is, for him, a huge playground where the right thing to do is to redefine constantly the rules in order to play new games.
In this manner, the basic author/work/viewer triptych represents the point of departure of works aiming precisely - in this reflexive manner - at experiencing all its motives.
With Ryan Gander, the work usually appears like a form of enigma to be solved. However, far from a simple solution to be found, it is indeed the status of the work, its role, which it is a matter of revisiting. The real ‘exhibits’ proposed to us by the artist are to be seen as such, but also as the vehicles of a narrative, as the agents’confused and active at once’of a way of thinking that is deliberately on the move.
As for the viewer, we might say, unafraid, that s/he is the essential factor in the arrangement. Everything is addressed to him/her, and it is through his presence that the whole approach is justified. Everything is done for his/her perception to be called upon, his/her attention attracted, and his/her intelligence stimulated.
At Le Plateau, among the very latest works produced will be makeshift shelters made by the artist’s child that have become marble sculptures, a parallelepiped in darkness with an undefined function and a pair of eyes in the wall reacting to the visitor’s slightest movement. This final example clearly responds to this objectives in its references: a so-called advertising campaign organised by the British Ministry of Health aimed at encouraging imagination among the populace.