Renowned for his films installations which re-enact conversations from specific historic moments, Irish artist Gerard Byrne’s (b. 1969) work explores the way we understand the present through revisiting the past. Always diverse, his subjects have included the Loch Ness monster, the possible location of Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot and the history of Minimalist art. For this exhibition, Byrne’s investigations range from the politics around sexuality to the production and display of the art object. Premiering in the UK is A man and a woman make love (2012). This multi-screen installation reinterprets discussions about sexuality and eroticism held in the 1920s by the Surrealist group of artists and writers, including André Breton, Jacques Prévert and Yves Tanguy. A thing is a hole in a thing it is not (2010) borrows its title from a statement by sculptor Carl Andre and re-examines seminal moments from 1960s debates around Minimalism.
A man and a woman make love was originally commissioned by dOCUMENTA (13). A thing is a hole in a thing it is not was co-commissioned by Glasgow International Festival, The Renaissance Society and Lismore Castle Arts. Organised in collaboration with Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm.
Gerard Byrne is supported by Culture Ireland as part of Ireland’s EU Presidency Culture Programme 2013.
Extract credit: Gerard Byrne, 1984 and beyond, (2005-7). Three-channel video monitor, vinyl wall text and silver gelatin photographs. Duration: approx. 60 min., dimensions variable. Commissioned in 2005 by If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution © Gerard Byrne