Visually rich and intellectually complex, the work of Gerard Byrne in photography, film, theatre and multi-screen installation examines the slippage between time and the act of image creation. Characterised by a laconic humour, Byrne’s projects examine the ambiguities of language and of what is gained or lost in the translation from text to image. By reconstructing historically charged conversations, interviews and performances, from sources as diverse as La Revolution Surréaliste, Playboy and National Geographic, Byrne tests our perception of the past and the present, and the inherent challenges of the visual record. Ongoing photographic series, such as In the News and Loch Ness, demonstrate that while images are fixed in time they are also interpreted in flux – a situation that both creates and distorts our knowledge of what came before. Byrne is precise in his research and analysis of the relationship between time, documentation and an identifiable visual language, and while each of his distinct bodies of work is conceived independently, they resonate together as being made in relation to a specific, but malleable historical referent.
Gerard Byrne was born in 1969 in Dublin, Ireland, where he lives and works. Solo exhibitions include Secession, Vienna, Austria (2019); Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland (2018); Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden (2017); Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, Australia (2016); Mead Gallery, Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, UK (2016); Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland (2015); FRAC Pays de la Loire, Nantes, France (2014); The Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2013); Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal (2012); IMMA, Dublin, Ireland (2011); Milton Keynes Gallery, Milton Keynes, UK (2011); The Renaissance Society, Chicago, IL, USA (2011); Lismore Castle Arts, Ireland (2010); The Common Guild, Glasgow, UK (2010); ICA Boston, Boston, MA, USA (2008); Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark (2008); Dusseldorf Kunstverein, Dusseldorf, Germany (2007); Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius, Lithuania (2007); MUMOK, Vienna, Austria (2006); BAK, Utrecht, The Netherlands (2004); Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, Germany (2003). In 2007 he represented Ireland at the 52nd Venice Biennale. He has also participated in dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel, Germany 2012; Performa, New York City, NY, USA (2011); the 54th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2011); Auckland Biennial, New Zealand (2010); Gwangju Biennial, South Korea (2008); Sydney Biennial, Australia (2008); Lyon Biennial, France (2007); Tate Triennial, London, UK (2006); and the Istanbul Biennale, Turkey (2003).