My encounter with Gander’s Locked Room Scenario started with receiving a mysterious text in the afternoon from someone called Spencer, whose number was later unavailable. Throughout the exhibition, situated in an old warehouse, Gander encourages you to take on a investigative role to question the scenario and deduce what has happened. You are never sure if what you are viewing is actually art or just things left behind by old inhabitants, remnants of someone’s McDonald’s takeaway or bits of discarded furniture.
Gander has weaved a narrative about a fictitious exhibition in this labyrinthine environment of fake corridors, and locked rooms, which leave you irrationally curious to want to see and venture beyond. Simple psychology really; the grass is always greener, and being outside a locked room is always intriguing.
It’s also interesting to see how far you will buy into the authenticity of something presented as “art” when framed in the right context. A gallery plaque, an accompanying press release, immediately lends a scene weight and makes it feel “real.”
Locked Room Scenario is commissioned and produced by Artangel. It runs until October 23.