Ryan Gander, Is This Guilt in You Too—(Cinema Verso) (detail), 2005, cinema installation featuring the film 24 Seconds Elapsed Between the First and Last Shot, 56 minutes 51 seconds. Installation view, former library next to Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 2006. Photo: Louise Hayward.

SEEING JUST ONE or two isolated works by London-based artist Ryan Gander does not do justice to the diversity of his oeuvre, which includes objects, photographs, drawings, installations, films, novels, and lectures. He could perhaps be considered a sculptor in the most expanded definition of that term, but it would be more accurate to describe him as a forensic examiner whose reconstructions of modernity’s “crime scene” lead us to the intersections of the history of social systems (their failures and subversive adaptations, in particular) and everyday life. With each new project Gander carefully inserts himself into the mechanism of the modernist engine whose fuel is the dictum “form follows function,” poetically addressing the human element that always seems to frustrate the best-laid plans of social engineers, to say nothing of their utopian impulses. Given the artist’s frequent

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