Paris – “Ryan Gander: Esperluette” at Palais de Tokyo, through January 1st, 2013

November 26th, 2012

Ryan Gander, Imaginez l’Imaginaire, installation detail 2012, All images courtesy Palais de Tokyo

Ryan Gander‘s Esperluette, the first exhibition in the Palais de Tokyo‘s series “biboliothèque d’artiste,” explores and interprets the concept of the ampersand (&) as a symbol of the network of connections made by the human mind when solving a puzzle. Through a variety of images of everyday objects, sound installations, and books, Gander invites viewers to create their own stories based on the reactions and associations which occur in their own minds.

Ryan Gander, Imaginez l’Imaginaire, installation detail 2012

For Gander, Esperluette, the french word for “Ampersand”, represents a connection, or linkage between objects, symbolizing one’s relationship to the other. Scattered around the gallery are various sound installations and books, and within the central work – a large white cube called Imaginez l’Imaginaire – is a small window where viewers can peek inside at a slideshow of objects passing by on a conveyor belt. More than 75 objects are presented, including a Japanese china set, a mushroom knife, optometry equipment, and a brick from a fireplace.

Ryan Gander, Imaginez l’Imaginaire, installation detail 2012

As they peer inside the structure, visitors are invited to explore the associations occurring within their own minds, interpreting the significance of these objects for themselves. Gander created the installation with the intention that each individual viewer will construct their own associations in a unique way, “be it cultural, historical, financial, or personal,” a the space of the work becomes one with space of the internal space of each individual mind.

Ryan Gander, Imaginez l’Imaginaire, installation detail 2012

Gander has been working with the concept of idea-association since 2002, when he began creating his lecture-performances series, Loose Associations. Esperluette is a continuation of Gander’s interest in audience participation and the idea of each viewer solving a puzzle without any one right or wrong answer – of each individual creating a personal story for oneself.

Ryan Gander, Esperluette, installation view

Ryan Gander, As if it had fallen from the page, 2009

Born in 1976, Gander gained international attention as a conceptual artist in 2000, and he has most recently participated in the 2011 Venice Biennial and in dOCUMENTA 13 in Kassel (2012). His work often challenges the conventions of language, of knowledge, and of art creation and installation.

Esperluette opened on September 28th at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris and will continue through January 7th, 2013.

-E. Baker

Related Links:
Ryan Gander London representation [Lisson Gallery]
Ryan Gander Amsterdam representation [Annet Gelink]
Ryan Gander Paris representation [GB Agency]
Ryan Gander New York representation [Tanya Bonakdar]
Ryan Gander Tokyo representation [Taro Nasu]
Exhibition Page [Palais de Tokyo]