As it Presents Itself - Somewhere Vague
by Ryan Gander

plasticine character on stage playing piano


  • 13 minute extract from As It Presents Itself - Somewhere Vague


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As it Presents Itself - Somewhere Vague is a high-definition video piece by Ryan Gander that exploits the medium of Plasticine animation. The work brings together characters based on the comedian Spike Milligan; curator Matthew Higgs; Mrs Frances Gander - the mother of the artist; the Lumière Brothers, Auguste and Louis, who were amongst the earliest of film-makers, and a generic animator's armature that stands as the skeleton of the other characters.

As viewers, we are put into the position of a spectator within a gallery, within a film and in turn within the auditorium of a theatre. There is a tongue in cheek contradiction within the action and the narration between the staged, the unstaged, and the upstaged, the directed and the happenstance. As an investigation into the notion of entertainment, the work is an attempt to look at the relationship between performer and spectator relationship and to rigorously discuss the stereotypes of performing art.

Richard Briers provides a voiceover that acts as the work's narration from the perspective of the characters involved, but in hindsight - questioning the intentions of the work. This rambling, questioning voiceover mirrors our own uncertainty as spectators. The characters seem to be in search of an author and meaning, lost in a theatrical loop. The work is subtle and understated, as funny as it is unsettling


Year 2008
Duration 25 minutes
Medium Single-screen video projection
Original format HD - 1920x1080 digital SLR animation
Screening format HD MPEG-2 transport stream
Aspect ratio 16:9
Audio Yes
Colour / B&W Colour
Screens 1

External links:


Produced by Ryan Gander, Wonky Animations, Bristol and Picture This. A joint commission by Whitstable Biennale, Picture This and South West Screen as part of Recorded Live. Supported by Arts Council England Lottery Funding.

Screening history:

21 June - 06 July 2008
Whitstable Biennale

02 May - 06 June 2009
'Recorded Live'
Picture This

17 - 18 January 2009
'Contested Ground'
176 Gallery London

6 & 13 November 2008
'Life on Mars 55th Carnegie International'
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburg, USA

29 August – 02 November 2008
'Something Vague'
Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn, Germany

04 September 2008 - 04 October 2008
'Championed by Rigour'
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York

Related Items:

Recorded Live
2007 - 2009

The three works in Recorded Live have been informed by the history of performance to camera and all question what constitutes a performance.

Ryan Gander

Ryan Gander's practice centres on the deconstruction and disclosures of narrative strategies.