Really Shiny Things That Don’t Really Mean Anything, 2018
Ryan Gander's Really Shiny Things That Don’t Really Mean Anything consists of a large ball composed of a multitude of very shiny objects with an unrecognisable function. The title implies that the individual objects have random shapes, but also that the sculpture as a whole doesn't have any meaning. There is an important nuance here, though. As the creator of the work, the artist doesn't wish to give a fixed explanation regarding the meaning of the sculpture, but he realises that a wide range of meanings will be created by the viewers, and he welcomes these interpretations as their contribution to the work. To quote the artist: “The place where the work is shown, changes the work significantly. I think that this is characteristic of all art in public space or outside of a neutral context like a gallery. The same is true for the viewer: the work has a different meaning to each person. All in all, the work doesn't have a fixed meaning, but it changes depending on context and audience.”
According to Gander, it is part of the human condition to like shiny things, since people get mesmerised by their own reflection and by a parallel reality. “It’s just a natural human instinct to look at your own reflection and be intrigued by the way you look. It’s like we all know what Mars looks like, but we have never been there. It is this really exciting thing that has to do with the alien – the familiar but the unknown. The unattainable.”
°1976 United Kingdom
Ryan Gander has recently had solo exhibitions at the National Museum of Art Osaka, Osaka, Japan (2017), Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle (2016), Esperluette, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France (2013). He participated in group exhibitions including Between the Idea and Experience, 12th Havana Biennial, Havana, Cuba (2015), Documenta 13, Kassel, Germany (2012), the 9th Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai, China (2012). In 2017 he received the title of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to contemporary art.
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