Gerard Byrne's artistic practice utilises video and photography to question the ways in which images are constructed, transmitted and mediated. His work examines the modes and conventions of image-making and analyses the mechanics of representation itself. Influenced by literature and theatre, Gerard Byrne's work consistently references a range of sources, from popular magazines of the recent past to iconic modernist playwrights like Brecht, Beckett, and Sartre.
The photographic projects are generally characterised as historical site related projects made over several years. The film / video projects involve reconstructing particular historically charged conversations originally published in popular magazines from the 1960s -1980s, with the intention of testing the cultural present of the gallery space against the present evoked in a magazine article from the recent past.
Out of his interest in acting and theatre as cultural forms, Byrne has worked on a number of projects with actors and sets in gallery spaces which test the nominal historical distinctions between sculpture and set design, acting and non-acting, and spectacle and spectator.
The exhibition at Georg Kargl BOX presents a insight in his over ten years of research around the Loch Ness Monster, the myth fuelled in the 1930s by the popular press in order to sell newspapers. Including photography, film, text, sound and archival material, this project blurs the lines between fiction and documentary, exploring how images inform our understanding of myth and reality. Byrne presents his own evidence of the monster's existence, posing the question: is it possible to capture an image of something that does not exist?
Born in Dublin in 1969, Byrne studied in Dublin and in New York at the Whitney Independent Study Programme, graduating in 1999. Byrne received the Paul Hamlyn award in 2006 and represented Ireland at the 52nd Venice Biennale in June 2007. He lives and works in Dublin.
Gerard Byrne's work has been widely exhibited in significant international exhibitions including: Whitechapel Gallery, London (2013); dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel; (2012), The Renaissance Society, Chicago (2011); Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest, (2010); The Turin Triennale, The Gwangju Biennale and The Biennale of Sydney, ICA Boston; Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen (all 2008); The Lyon Biennale, Kunstverein Dusseldorf (2007); A Short History of Performance 3, 3rd Tate Triennial, Tate Britain, London (2006); Eindhoven - Istanbul, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands (2005); The American Effect, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Istanbul Biennale, (2003); Manifesta 4, (2002).