Learning and education underlie the practice of Austrian artist Rainer Ganahl. His best-known work, S/L (Seminars/Lectures), is an ongoing series of photographs begun in 1995 of well-known cultural critics addressing audiences. The series functions as a kind of intellectual and topological travelogue, recording speakers, listeners, and their surroundings at lectures and seminars in universities and art institutions around the world. The project is an archival representation of the ways in which information and ideas are developed and transmitted. Ganahl states, “Knowledge itself doesn’t usually show in a picture. My visual records remain open to a variety of readings and don’t allow for knowledge consumption.”
Ganahl was born in Bludenz, Vorarlberg, Austria, and currently lives and works in New York City. He studied at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, at the ENSAD in Paris, at the Kunstakademie, Düsseldorf, Germany (with Nam June Paik), and at the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum in New York. Ganahl represented Austria at the Venice Biennale in 1999. Also in May 2018, Ganahl’s S/L will be presented as a solo project by Kai Matsumiya Gallery at Frieze NYC.