Working primarily with lens-based media, Gerard Byrne explores the paradoxical relationship between time and image. Looking at both highbrow and popular media, from the art press to men’s magazines, museum displays to commercial radio stations, Byrne meticulously documents and reconstructs the cultural ephemera of the last century. With deadpan humour, his works draw attention to the ways in which text, sound and image produce and transmit meaning, and how shifting contexts render this meaning impermanent. In particular his works have looked at the legacy of Modernism, evolving attitudes towards sexuality, and the move from collective sources of entertainment to the more fragmented media culture of the 21st Century. Never succumbing to nostalgia, Byrne’s analysis of the recent past and its mythologies tells us just as much about the present – how, far from being inevitable, the moment we live in is just one of a number of possible outcomes, and how alternative futures can live on through cultural artefacts.
Gerard Byrne lives and works in Dublin.
Gerard Byrne has had solo exhibitions in many of the world’s leading museums, including Kunstmuseum St Gallen, Switzerland; ACCA, Melbourne; Graz Museum, Austria; Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland; Whitechapel Gallery, London and Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon. In recent years, he has had solo exhibitions at Centraal Museum Utrecht (2020); Serlachius Museum Gosta, Finland; Void, Derry; Secession, Vienna (all 2019); Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (both 2018) and Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2017). He has participated in major international exhibitions including Skulptur Projekte, Documenta, Performa, the Tate Triennial, FRONT International Cleveland Triennial, the 52nd and 54th Venice biennales, and the Busan, Gwangju, Sydney, Auckland, Lyon and Istanbul biennales.