• JAN 30 to MAR 09
    Solo Exhibition
    Present Continuous Past


    • Solo Exhibition
    • Contemporary

    Dates and Opening hours

    JAN 30 to MAR 09, 2013

    Vernissage: 29 January 2013

    Event Location

    Lisson Gallery

    52-54 Bell Street
    United Kingdom

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    Lisson Gallery is proud to announce Present Continuous Past, a solo exhibition by Gerard Byrne, 30 January – 9 March 2013 at 52-54 Bell Street. The works on display examine the conditions that underpin the artistic process and methods of cultural production. They have been selected to act as a thematic adjunct to the Whitechapel Gallery’s major survey of the artist’s work, to open on 17 January 2013.

    Visually rich and intellectually complex, the work of Gerard Byrne examines the slippage between time and the act of image creation. Using film, video and photography, Byrne confronts the inherent challenges of the visual record, demonstrating that whilst images are fixed in time they are also interpreted in flux, a situation that both creates and distorts our knowledge of what came before. The camera inhabits a temporal vacuum, able to capture or create moments chronologically and geographically distinct, such as 1960s Leeds or 1970s USA, and present them as either historical fact or fiction.

    Characterised by a laconic humour, Byrne’s projects examine the ambiguities of language and of what is gained or lost in the translation from text to image. By reconstructing historically charged conversations, interviews and performances, Byrne tests our perception of the past and the present, and the relationship of textual to visual information. In the video work Subject, Byrne takes the Modernist architecture of the University of Leeds – conceived in 1960 by Chamberlin, Powell and Bon, architects of London’s Barbican Centre – as a starting point for a broader examination of the radical changes in post-war UK society and of the dialectic relationship that exists between individuals and the built environment that surrounds them. Using a cast of actors playing 1960s university students and a script derived from written material acquired by the university library in the same decade, the film attempts to re-inhabit the architecture at the moment it was first envisioned. However the line between historical documentation and fiction is blurred by a soundtrack that both substantiates and undermines the proof of the naked eye, leaving the viewer suspended between times, uncertain if what they are seeing is historical evidence or a construct of the artist.

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