Gerard Byrne: In Our Time

Lisson Gallery
New York, NY, USA
3 November – 22 December 2017

For his debut exhibition at Lisson Gallery New York, Gerard Byrne will present a new video installation, In Our Time. Commissioned for the 2017 edition of Skulptur Projekte Münster, In Our Time depicts the daily activities of an archetypal commercial radio station, provoking questions around the relationship between radio broadcasting, time, pop music and collective memory.

Centred around the control booth of the radio station, the camera moves continuously through the meticulously realised mise en scène Byrne has created, picturing in detail the cassettes and vinyl, the microphones and speakers, alongside the various other hardware used to coalesce pop music, call-ins, news bulletins and the voice of the presenter himself, into a seamless ethereal broadcast. Of non-fixed duration, In Our Time plays back in sync with actual time of day during the gallery opening hours, and as such establishes a richly complex relationship between the hidden space of the radio broadcast depicted, and the physical circumstances of the gallery viewer. As with many of Byrne’s previous works, In Our Timeconjoins ideas of naturalism from film, physical presence from theatre, together with the concrete temporality of radio broadcasting, into a hybrid form influenced by Bertolt Brecht.

In our Time is a study of Radio as a model of Time, from the micro level of adverts or radio jingles, to the macro level of timeless pop classics. The artist utilises and emphasises radio’s inherent tapestry-like structure where different references and songs are interwoven, and key motifs are repeated at various intervals throughout the day. Radio’s inherently rhythmic nature — from daily music or talk programmes to updates on weather or traffic repeated at symmetric intervals throughout the hour — creates a modular structure of indefinite duration, similar to the serial qualities of Minimalism. With a focus on this structure and the materiality of the radio studio and its contents, Byrne continues an ongoing interest in the legacies of Minimalism, and the complex nature of how Art engages its own place in time.

About Gerard Byrne

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 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). In 2006 Byrne was the recipient of the Paul Hamlyn award.