Gerard Byrne Exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery

A man and a woman make love

A man and a woman make love, 2012

Renowned for his film installations which re-enact conversations from specific historic moments, Irish artist Gerard Byrne’s work explores the way we understand the present through revisiting the past. Byrne has spoken about the diverse material that informs his wider practice, from popular magazines and late night TV interviews to academic text, archive material and theatre dialogue. His subjects have included the Loch Ness monster, the possible location of Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting for Godot and the history of Minimalist art. For this exhibition, Byrne’s investigations range from the politics around sexuality to the production and display of the art object. Premiering in the UK is A man and a woman make love (2012). This multi-screen installation reinterprets discussions about sexuality and eroticism held in the 1920s by the Surrealist group of artists and writers, including André Breton, Jacques Prévert and Yves Tanguy. A thing is a hole in a thing it is not (2010) borrows its title from a statement by sculptor Carl Andre and re-examines seminal moments from 1960s debates around Minimalism.

A Thing is a Hole in a Thing it is Not, installation image from Lismore Castle, 2010

A Thing is a Hole in a Thing it is Not, installation image from Lismore Castle, 2010

 

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