Galerie Nordenhake Stockholm presents Gerard Byrne’s critically acclaimed new film work In Our Time in his third solo exhibition at the gallery.
Commissioned for his participation in the 2017 Skulptur Projekte Münster, In Our Time tracks part of the day inside a radio broadcasting studio. Set in an undefined period, the film follows a DJ as he plays segments of music, takes requests, plays advertisements, news clips and traffic reports, with a style and patter reminiscent of Wolfman Jack in George Lucas’s American Graffiti (Jeffrey Kastner, Artforum, February 2018). The broadcasting on-air room is intercut with scenes from a recording studio with musicians setting up their instruments.
The camera floats over the period details that make up Byrne's meticulous mise-en-scène: cassettes and vinyl, microphones, speakers and the various other hardware used to coalesce pop music, call-ins and news bulletins 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 rich 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 Time conjoins 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. As such the work 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 ways in which art engages its own place in time.
Gerard Byrne was born in 1969 in Dublin where he lives and works. Recent venues for solo presentations include Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2017), ACCA, Melbourne; Mead Gallery, UK (2016), GrazMuseum, Austria; Kunstmuseum St Gallen, Switzerland (2015); Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland; Whitechapel Gallery, London (2013); Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon (2012); IMMA, Dublin; the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago (2011), the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art, Lismore Castle Arts (2010), ICA, Boston; Statens Museum für Kunst, Copenhagen (2008), Düsseldorf Kunstverein and Charles H. Scott Gallery, Vancouver (2007), MUMOK, Vienna (2006). He participated in Skulptur Projekte Münster (2017), dOCUMENTA 13 (2012), Performa 11 (2011), the 54th Venice Biennale (2011); Gwangju Biennale‚ Biennale of Sydney (2008), Lyon Biennale (2007), the Tate Triennial (2006) and the Istanbul Biennale (2003). In 2007 he represented Ireland at the 52nd Venice Biennale.