Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Guest Artist Lecture: Ryan Gander

I was very excited to see some of London-based conceptual artist, Gander's personal work in this lecture, however I soon realised as a member of the audience, the artist was filming the lecture as a piece of performance art so I became part of his work! This was an interesting and new concept to me as the filming was not consented by the audience and I was not sure how the film would be presented. Regardless I did not feel less comfortable knowing this.

Symbol used on band poster/ album cover
Several aspects of Gander's lecture intrigued me including his discussion of the symbol 'X' and how it could be viewed as a sign of censorship. He also spoke about how 'the xx' band poster was first released publicly without the knowledge that the symbol represented the band. This concept was interesting as it explored the idea of not only censorship, but also how symbols can be interpreted in different ways by the public and how they become 'hungry' for more information when it is purposely withdrawn from their knowledge.

Gander also mentioned the idea of associations and how each memory or thought can trigger another completely different one. A good example Gander later gave was the 'create your own adventure' books where the readers choice of path led to another section of the book, which then created varied stories depending on the choices of the readers. This gave me an idea to look into the number element in 'Drowning by Numbers' and think of how they may associate with certain narratives/ memories and thought triggers.

Overall, I felt a little disappointed by Ryan Gander's personal input into the lecture. He mainly spoke about other outside influences and didn't show any of his own artistic work. Therefore, I left feeling I still knew little to nothing about the artist himself and was left wanting to know more. Even the work he did show as his own I later found out that some of the things he spoke about were false, and so decided that as an artist, he could not influence or inspire me and felt confused about whether the knowledge I gained was authentic.

To view some of Ryan Gander's personal work visit