Visually rich and intellectually complex, the work of Gerard Byrne in photography, film, theatre and multi-screen installation examines the slippage between time and the act of image creation.
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, from sources as diverse as La Revolution Surréaliste, Playboy and National Geographic, Byrne tests our perception of the past and the present, and the inherent challenges of the visual record. Ongoing photographic series, such as In the News and Loch Ness, demonstrate that while images are fixed in time they are also interpreted in flux – a situation that both creates and distorts our knowledge of what came before. Byrne is precise in his research and analysis of the relationship between time, documentation and an identifiable visual language, and while each of his distinct bodies of work is conceived independently, they resonate together as being made in relation to a specific, but malleable historical referent.