RG: My name is Ryan Gander and we are here in a project called “Locked Room Scenario” and we’re visiting an exhibition within this project called “Field of Meaning”; and “Field of Meaning” is an exhibition by seven artists, Spencer Anthony, Mary Rory, Rose Duvall, Vivi Yenko, Aston Ernest, Abbe Feria and Santos Stone. You may have heard of some of them. They are commonly known as the Blue Conceptualists, and in my mind Santos, like the epitome of the bad conceptual artist – very flashy neon signs, very cheap one liners, work that’s very thin and unsubstantial. In his counterpart Aston Ernest is… I mean, I love Aston’s work and when I think about me and the work that I make as an artist, I would be really happy if I had achieved what Aston has achieved. He is a much, much, much better artist than I am, and it makes me slightly jealous.
The overall project is made up of a number of art works and narratives and devices, and although we are in a physical environment and people may interpret the architecture to be the work, the architecture is actually only 20% of the work, and things happen to the spectator or the visitor when you visit this project before you even get here, and months or maybe years after you leave here. There are probably 150 possible encounters that could happen. If you find a sheet with a dinner plan, a seating plan on it on the floor here, or an actor chases you home, follows you home and gives you a page torn from a novel, they are not actually found objects, they are constructed objects, and everything in here from postcards to timelines to security cameras, to movements, to billboards on the street, taxis waiting outside, is constructed. So it’s partially architecture, it’s partially the construction of narrative, it’s partial theatre and performance, and it’s art making, because there’s constricted art works that are part of the whole project, and it has been constructed that way because it was really important, to me, that every visitor had a different experience.
The interesting thing about inaccessibility is that it’s frequently more intriguing than the actuality of accessing a space. When you are given something on a silver plate you often disregard it, but if you find something on the floor and you put it in your pocket and you are on your own when you find it, you value it a great deal more than being given something.
Basically, this whole project is a novel that has been written, and this is the fallout or the offcuts or the by-product of that novel, but instead of flicking through a book and reading it, you are living it and walking it, and when you leave the compound and you go home, there is this strange moment where you think you are leaving fiction and entering back into the reality of the world, but it follows you home. So you never quite know when it ends.
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