• 2 to 17 December 2020
  • The British Art Talks podcast is an audio series from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. It features new research and aims to enhance and expand knowledge of British art and architecture. The autumn 2020 series features a range of artists’ takes on art histories, as construed and configured in their work.

Ryan Gander’s inventive, shapeshifting and associative works materialise in many forms ranging from sculpture and writing to painting and performance. His engagement with histories is not without mischief, in his 2006 work A Future Lorum Ipsom, Gander invented a palindromic word, Mitim, designed to be inserted without comment into newspapers, magazines, crosswords or everyday speech, meaning ‘a mythical word newly introduced into history as if it had always been there’. In this episode of British Art Talks, an array of artists is enlisted in a quixotic project: a countdown from fifty in bingo calls. The funny, rhyming calls evoke a history of a game of pure chance, based on random numbers, dating from the early eighteenth century in Britain. They include visual puns and enigmatic idiom. They speak of clandestine activity, village halls and commercial leisure. First, a story, part of a beat poem, narrated by Ryan as author, to his daughter, Penny, in a disarming and semi-autobiographical form: a history of the artist navigating, inventing, transforming, ludic, in time.

Bingo callers include: Kara Chin, Lydia Goldblatt, Laura Harrington, Liam Ashley Clark, Paula Morison, Shy Bairns, Shao-Jie, Ann-Marie James, Rabiya Choudhry, Sean Edwards, Jocelyn McGregor, Gabriela Giroletti, Mark Fell, Janet Sainsbury, Nimmi Hutnik, Catherine Bertola, Christian Noelle, Kimie Minobe, Minty Donald, Jenkin Van Zyl, Luke Drozd, Matt Stokes, Beatrice Gibson, Wal Slzr, Andy Abbott, Jacqueline Bebb, Anna Reading, Jonathan P. Watts, Christina Mackie, Lyn Hagan, Viviana Troya, Jacqueline Donachie, Samuel WJ Fordham, Francisco Rodriguez, Tim Foxon, Brendan Walker, Marianne Keating, Fauness, Rafael Perez Evans, Ismay Bright, Jo Longhurst, Yuko Mohri, Ralph Pritchard, Mark Essen, Yonatan Vinitsky, John Henry Newton, Lucas Dillon, Katharina Fitz, Chris Alton, Elena Helfrecht.

About the speaker

  • Portrait of Ryan Gander

    Ryan Gander 1976 Chester, UK. Ryan Gander has established an international reputation through artworks that materialise in many different forms, ranging from sculpture, apparel and writing to architecture, painting, typefaces, publications and performance. As well as curating exhibitions, he is a committed educator, having taught at international art institutions and universities, and has written and presented television programmes on and about contemporary art and culture for the BBC. 

    Through associative thought processes that connect the everyday and the esoteric, the overlooked and the commonplace, Gander’s work involves a questioning of language and knowledge, as well as a reinvention of both the modes of appearance and the creation of an artwork. His work can be reminiscent of a puzzle, or a network with multiple connections and the fragments of an embedded story. It is ultimately a huge set of hidden clues to be deciphered, encouraging viewers to make their own associations and invent their own narrative in order to unravel the complexities staged by the artist.

    Ryan Gander is an artist living and working in Suffolk and London. He studied at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, NL and the Jan van Eyck Akademie, Maastricht, NL. The artist has been a Professor of Visual Art at the University of Huddersfield and holds an honorary Doctor of the Arts at the Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Suffolk. In 2017 he was awarded an OBE for services to contemporary arts. In 2019 he was awarded the Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University.