This week, a new artist is settling into the residence studio here at 30upstairs. Ryan Ballinger has travelled down from New Plymouth where he lives and works to develop some site specific projects in our residence studio until the end of the year.
Ryan’s practice is highly performative and has recently involved physical endurance and running, partly influenced by his parents who are both former New Zealand elite long distance runners. The artist considers his body and physical performances as elements of a sculptural practice, presenting footage of his practice performances as preparatory drawings.
One project he will carry out during the residency requires temporarily loaning dogs to go running with. While borrowing the pet from its owner for a day, Ryan will allow it to choose where and how far the pair will go, handing over control and agency to the dog while also using GPS tracking to map out a new running route for his training sessions while in Wellington.
The artist is interested in the long standing anthropological relationship between humans and canine, dogs often being used for a variety of reasons including hunting, sanitary purposes and modes of transport. A dog/runner collaboration is also an unusual reversal of roles; the dog now walks the master, questioning the relationship and control of people over animals.
Trust Exercise #1, a work performed by Ryan earlier this year, in which the exhibition curator controlled the route and duration of the artist’s run by walkie-talkie, similarly played with relations of trust and power between artist and curator.
If you would like to lend your pet dog to the artist for a day, please get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Ryan studied at Elam School of Fine Arts and was a finalist for the 2009 Wallace Art Award.
See his website for more info