Gander Islands brings together three videos connecting two island sites: the Gander International Airport terminal and the Fogo Island Arts artists’ studios on Fogo Island in Newfoundland. Despite the isolation, both the airport and the studios open onto the world through a highly characterised concern for design and architecture.
Gander airport was built in the late 1950s. The modernist spirit of the age is apparent in its furniture by influential designers such as Ray and Charles Eames and Robin Bush, a commissioned mural by the Canadian painter Kenneth Lochhead and a terrazzo floor with motifs reminiscent of Mondrian. These strategic aesthetic choices contribute to presenting a progressive image of Canada to travellers in transit for whom, in most cases, the airport would be their only contact with the country. However, this refuelling stopover necessary for intercontinental flights quickly became obsolete thanks to the rapid progress made in aeronautics. Today the imposing lounge in the international area is practically deserted; only the American armed forces and a few dignitaries flying on private airplanes pass through it on occasion. In a series of fixed and brief tracking shots playing in a loop on three large screens suspended in the gallery space, the space slowly unfold in its modernists details.