Roles in Archive: Artist
b. 1976 Chester, England
Ryan Gander’s multifarious works strike a delicate balance between the playful and the rigorous, the cerebral and the aesthetic, the dour and the comedic. In the process, Gander often references both the history of art and that of design. For his work This Consequence (2005), Gander requires that a member of the museum staff wears a specially customized white Adidas tracksuit whenever they are present in the exhibition space. A pair of dark bloodstains is embroidered on the pristine white garments: mysterious stigmata that seems to refer to the “consequence” of the title. This Consequence takes up the artistic tradition of institutional critique and opens it up to new, open-ended narratives. Exchanging the uniform of a museum guard for a costume, Gander creates a living character in an unspecified drama, giving his work a multi-dimensional quality that allows it to develop and change over time, and according to the narratives invented by viewers.