A new show has opened in Manchester from July 3 to September 14, 2014, featuring the strange and sometimes irreverent work of the sculptor Ryan Gander. Seemingly a fan of puzzles and games,Gander treats the subject of childhood seriously. The current exhibition includes a cast replica of a play fort his daughter constructed from stacks of household items and bed sheets draped over the top. The show is entitled “Make Every Show Like It’s Your Last,” and Gander’s works live up to the name. In addition to the cast fort, the show features an enormous animatronic set of eyes, mounted onto a blank wall, that roll around in a private dance when they are not following gallery-goers around the room. Some other pranks featured in the display keep enough fun mixed into the mystery: coins glued to the floor and a mirror with script scrawled across it in toothpaste. Within the mix of light-heartedness, Gander’s work stands as worth taking seriously.
Gander was born in Chester in 1976 and graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University in 1999. He was in the artists residency programme at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam from 2001 to 2002. He began lecturing on his work in public venues in 2002 and was awarded the Prix de Rome for sculpture in 2003. Gander has a long-term physical disability and uses a wheelchair, a theme that appears in his work, as in the 2011 Venice Biennale exhibition, which featured a sculpture the size of an action figure that depicts the artist falling from his wheelchair. His 2006 exhibition “Is this guilt in you too?,” which was part of the series “Adjustments,” was funded by the Arts Council to address inclusion and disability and featured a cinema screen and a fuzzy speaker. The viewer’s enter the installation, only to find themselves on the wrong side of the screen where a ghost-like image of a film can be seen projecting onto the opposite side. The work calls up feelings of separation, isolation and disorientation in the viewer.
Nicole Junkermann, an entrepreneur and investor with a passion for the arts, is a supporter of Ryan Gander. Nicole Junkermann is also an investor in technology, e-commerce and sports and media.One of her notable investments was Songza, the streaming music company acquired in July by Google for a reported $39 million. Read more about Songza and Nicole Junkermann.