Saturday 21. September 2019
Irish artist Gerard Byrne (b. 1969) is known for ambitious video installations and photographic projects. Works utilising documentary material, theatre and literature often challenge our understandings of the immediate past. His video installation In Our Time creates a portrait in time of the everyday routines of an American radio station and raises questions about the relationships between radio broadcasts, pop music and collective memory.
In Our Time was commissioned for Skulptur Projekte Münster 2017 in Germany. Since then, the work has been exhibited in New York, Dublin, Vienna and Stockholm. Serlachius Museums’ exhibition is the Byrne’s first in Finland. The exhibition is curated by Serlachius Museums’ Head Curator, Laura Kuurne.
Centred around the control booth of the radio station, the camera moves continuously through the meticulously realised mise en scène Byrne has created, picturing in detail the cassettes and vinyl, the microphones and speakers, alongside the various other hardware used to coalesce pop music, call-ins, news bulletins and the voice of the presenter himself, into a seamless ethereal broadcast. Of non-fixed duration, In Our Time plays back in sync with actual time of day during the museum opening hours, and as such establishes a richly complex relationship between the hidden space of the radio broadcast depicted, and the physical circumstances of the museum 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.
In Our Time 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 complex nature of how art engages its own place in time.
Further information: Laura Kuurne, Head Curator, Serlachius Museums, tel. +358 (0) 44 269 6677, email@example.com
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Serlachius Museum Gösta, Joenniementie 47, 35800 Mänttä, Finland
Serlachius Museum Gustaf, R. Erik Serlachiuksen katu 2, 35800 Mänttä, Finland
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