Project commissioned acclaimed Irish artist Gerard Byrne to make a new body of work in the gallery during September and October. Drawing from Project’s unique history of accommodating both performing and the visual arts within the same building, Byrne’s work explores the relationship between theatre and the plastic arts.
Firstly for five weeks during September and October, Byrne looked at the dual function of the Project, where he in this spirit transformed the gallery into a theatrical space from a white cube into a black box, with theatrical elements such as a backdrop and lighting being introduced. In this environment Byrne placed a number of objects that sit somewhere in the ‘blind spot’ between sculpture and set design, stepping around the convention that separates the two genres and altering the manner in which they present themselves to the viewer – sculpture often insisting on its physicality and downplaying its theatricality and set design pointing away from itself towards an illusionary narrative. Byrne also videotaped visitors’ responses to produce photographic works and a film, which was screened after the exhibition.
The overall effect was to invoke ‘theatre’ by bringing together a number of references from its canon. Works cited included classics such as ‘Waiting for Godot‘ (in particular a version performed at the Odeon in Paris in 1961, with a tree designed by Giacometti), the 1943 Broadway production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s ‘Oklahoma!‘ and the 1963 Broadway production of Bertolt Brecht’s ‘Mother Courage.’ In conclusion, Byrnes new film In Repertory was the second and final part of a body of work undertaken by the artist. Over four weeks Byrne recorded audience reactions to his initial installation of objects that lie somewhere between sculpture and set design. The footage was edited by Byrne and raised questions around encoded reading.
A Dublin based artist, Gerard Byrne’s work is highly regarded internationally. He has been invited to participate in prestigious events such as the La biennale d’art contemporain de Lyon, Lyon Biennale (2007), 52nd International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale (2007), Istanbul Biennial (2003), the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2003), and Manifesta 4, Frankfurt, (2002). Solo exhibitions have taken place at the Contemporary Art Center, Vilnius (2007), Tracey Lawrence Gallery, Vancouver, B.C. (2007), Frankfurter Kunstverein (2003) and the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2002). Byrne previously exhibited in Project as part of the Billboard Project with ‘The End of Architecture is Nigh‘, (2003).
Screening 28th Oct – 13 Nov
Closed Sundays & Bank Holidays