Gerard Byrne

Gerard Byrne, Jielemeguvvie guvvie sjisjnjeli – Film inside an Image, 2016, 
Installation view, Secession 2019, photo: Iris Ranzinger


Gerard Byrne, In Our Time, 2017, 
Installation view, Secession 2019, photo: Iris Ranzinger

Gerard Byrne, Images or Shadows of Divine Things 1984_16_19, 2006, selenium-toned silver gelatin print, edition 4/4 plus A/P, 17 x 26 cm / 6.7 x 10.2 in image size, 40.5 x 47.5 x 4.2 cm / 15.9 x 18.7 x 1.7 in framed

Gerard Byrne, Images or Shadows of Divine Things 1984_10_06, 2006, selenium-toned silver gelatin print, edition 4/4 plus A/P, 17 x 26 cm / 6.7 x 10.2 in image size, 40.5 x 47.5 x 4.2 cm / 15.9 x 18.7 x 1.7 in framed

Gerard Byrne, In Our Time, 2017, video, no specific duration

Gerard Byrne, Images or Shadows of Divine Things 1984_09_29, 2006, Selenium-toned silver gelatin print, edition 1/4 plus A/P, 17 x 26 cm image / 6.7 x 10.2 in image size, 40.5 x 47.5 x 4.2 cm / 15.9 x 18.7 x 1.7 in framed

Gerard Byrne, A young woman contemplating a skull, 2008, framed, selenium-toned Silver Gelatin photographic print, edition 4 of 4 + 1AP, 55 x 45 cm / 21.7 x 17.7 in image size, 91 x 80.5 x 3.5 cm / 35.8 x 31.7 x 1.4 in framed

Gerard Byrne 'images or shadows of devine things', from Song of the Open Road Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver April 1 to June 18, 2017 Presented in partnership with Capture Photography Festival. Photograph: SITE photography

Gerard Byrne: A late evening in the future 2016, installation view at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne 8 Oct–27 Nov 2016 Photograph:Andrew Curtis

Gerard Byrne Jielemeguvvie guvvie sjisjnjeli (Film inside an image), 2015-2016 Single channel film, back projection, 17 minutes, continuous loop

Gerard Byrne
A man and a woman make love
Television production
Variable loop of approximately 19 minutes

A man and a woman make love was originally commissioned by dOCUMENTA (13). A thing is a hole in a thing it is not was co-commissioned by Glasgow International Festival, The Renaissance Society and Lismore Castle Arts. Organised in collaboration with Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm.

Gerard Byrne
Case Study: Loch Ness (Some possibilities and problems), Pink Wave Hunter

Gerard Byrne
A Thing is a. Hole in a Thing it is Not 
multiscreen video

Gerard Byrne
1984 and beyond
Three-channel video monitor, vinyl wall text and silver gelatin photographs.
Duration: approx. 60 min., dimensions variable.

Commissioned in 2005 by If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution

Gerard Byrne
Hommes à femmes (Michel Debrane) 
(Men to Women [Michel Debrane])
DVD still

Gerard Byrne
New Sexual Lifestyles
Three-channel video shown on monitors, nonlinear duration: seven photographs
Dimensions variable

Why it’s time for Imperial, again
Single-channel video installation
Video duration: 21 min

Gerard Byrne, Upon all the living and the dead.
Secession, Vienna
February 1 – March 31, 2019, photo: Iris Ranzinger
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Sven Anderson & Gerard Byrne, A Visibility Matrix, installation view. Courtesy of the artist and the Douglas Hyde Gallery, 2018. Photography by Louis Haugh.

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Gerard Byrne, In Our Time, 2017, Video, unspecified duration,
©Skulptur Projekte 2017, Photo: Henning Rogge
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Gerard Byrne
'images or shadows of devine things', from Song of the Open Road
Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver
April 1 to June 18, 2017
Presented in partnership with Capture Photography Festival. Photograph: SITE photography
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Gerard Byrne 
A late evening in the future
Kunstmuseum St.Gallen
6 June - 13 September 2015
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Gerard Byrne
A late evening in the future
Frac Carquefou
July 5 - September 21, 2014 
Gerard Byrne
A state of neutral pleasure.
Whitechapel Gallery
17 January – 8 March 2013
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Gerard Byrne
The Art of Memory
Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm
04 Sep — 24 Nov 2013

Gerard Byrne
A man and a woman make love
Television production
Variable loop of approximately 19 minutes

A man and a woman make love was originally commissioned by dOCUMENTA (13). A thing is a hole in a thing it is not was co-commissioned by Glasgow International Festival, The Renaissance Society and Lismore Castle Arts. Organised in collaboration with Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm.

Gerard Byrne
The Renaissance Society, Chicago
January 09 – February 27, 2011

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Gerard Byrne
Case Study: Loch Ness Case Study: Loch Ness(Some possibilities and problems), 2001 (Some possibilities and problems), 2001 (Some possibilities and problems), 2001-2011
MK Gallery
14 January - 3 April 2011

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Gerard Byrne
Irish Museum of Modern Art
27 July - 31 October 2011

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  • MUMA's latest video, Gerard Byrne: Jielemeguvvie guvvie sjisjnjeli (Film inside an Image)

  • Artist Gerard Byrne in conversation with Aidan Dunne, Journalist and Visual Arts Critic, The Irish Times. Filmed at the National Gallery of Ireland on 20 March 2014. Part of a special Anniversary Series organised by the NGI which featured a number of leading contemporary Irish artists discussing their work with a guest chair.


  • Part of Art Exhibited series on Pi TV we went to Whitechapel gallery to look at the Gerard Byrne: A state of neutral pleasure. We also interviewed assistant curator Emily Butler about the exhibition.

  • Artist Gerard Byrne talks about his exhibition 'Case Study: Loch Ness (Some possibilities and problems), 2001-2011' at MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, from 14 January - 3 April 2011.

  • The Renaissance Society, Lismore Castle Arts, C. Waterford, Ireland, and the 2010 Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art, in collaboration with Van Abbemuseum, co-commissioned Irish artist Gerard Byrne (b. 1969) to create this new multi-channel film installation titled A thing is a hole in a thing it is not. As this title--a quotation of Carl Andre's famous dictum--suggests, Byrne's attention here will be on the historical reception of Minimalism as a movement, a history that is resonant within the context of The Society's early engagement with that movement's artists.

  • Gerard Byrne Talks about his exhibition 'Images or shadows of divine things' at The Common Guild, Glasgow, June 2010.

b. 1969, Dublin, Ireland.


Gerard Byrne makes video, photography and performance art. His multi-media installations reenact historic events using professional actors and theatrical techniques, using twentieth-century literature and mass media as source material. Byrne’s dramatic renenactments have included a conversation led by André Breton published in La Révolution surréaliste in 1929 (A Man and a Woman Make Love), a 1964 radio conversation on Minimalism (A thing is a hole in a thing it is not, 2010) and a 1980 Chrysler ad featuring Frank Sinatra (Why It’s Time For Imperial, Again, 2002). In New Sexual Lifestyles (2003) and 1984 and beyond (2005-07), the transcripts of Playboy interviews from the ‘60s and ‘70s become scripts that are restaged with period costumes and settings. The critical importance of context is highlighted by these dramatisations, drawing our attention to shifts in societal attitudes.


Byrne’s work is also steeped in theatrical tradition. In one photographic series, he uses stage lighting to illuminate solitary trees on Irish roadsides, adhering to the sparse stage directions of Samuel Beckett’s 1953 Modernist play Waiting for Godot: “A country road. A tree. Evening.” Avoiding the typical ‘black box’ set-up of video art, Byrne’s approach to installation has also been likened to theatre, preferring complex arrangements of screens with videos of different durations. This layered, fragmented approach – never quite repeating the same ‘loop’ – is more akin to the ephemerality of performance than the linear narrative of film.


Gerard Byrne was born in 1969 in Dublin, Ireland, where he lives and works. Current and forthcoming exhibitions include A Visibility Matrix, by Gerard Byrne & Sven Anderson, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (6 June – 25 August 2018) and the FRONT International Triennial, Cleveland (14 July – 30 September 2018). Past solo exhibitions include Jielemeguvvie guvvie sjisjnjeli – Film Inside an Image, Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2017); A Late Evening in the Future, ACCA, Melbourne; Mead Galery, Warwick Arts Centre, UK (2016); GrazMuseum, Austria (2015); Kunstmuseum St Gallen, Switzerland (2015); Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland; The Whitechapel Gallery, London (2013); Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon (2012); IMMA, Dublin (2011); Milton Keynes Gallery (2011); The Renaissance Society, Chicago (2011); Lismore Castle Arts, Ireland (2010); The Common Guild, Glasgow (2010); ICA Boston (2008); Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen (2008); Dusseldorf Kunstverein (2007); Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius (2007); MUMOK, Vienna (2006); BAK, Utrecht (2004); Frankfurter Kunstverein (2003).


In 2017, Byrne presented In Our Time, a new multi-channel video piece, at the major recurring exhibition Skulptur Projekte Münster. In 2007 Byrne represented Ireland at the 52nd Venice Biennale. He has also participated in dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel, 2012; Performa, New York (2011); the 54th Venice Biennale (2011); Auckland Biennial (2010); Gwangju Biennial (2008); Sydney Biennial (2008); Lyon Biennial (2007); Tate Triennial (2006); and the Istanbul Biennale (2003).

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Gerard Byrne & Willie Doherty in FRONT International

14 July – 30 September 2018

Gerard Byrne and Willie Doherty will both be included in the inaugural FRONT International Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, titled An American City.

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Sven Anderson & Gerard Byrne, A Visibility Matrix

The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin

7 June – 25 August 2018

Initiated by Dublin-based artists and long-term collaborators, Sven Anderson and Gerard Byrne, A Visibility Matrix assembles contributions from a distributed panel of artists, film-makers and others within a synchronised, multi-channel video installation that will be presented for the first time in Gallery 1 of The Douglas Hyde Gallery.  

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Gerard Byrne in A Synchronology

Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK

27 October 2017 – 28 January 2018

Group exhibition with Gerard Byrne, Robert Barry, Phil Collins, Ruth Ewan, Sharon Hayes, Simon Starling, Corin Sworn and others.

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Gerard Byrne in Skulptur Projekte Münster

10 June – 1 October 2017

Gerard Byrne will unveil a new video piece In Our Time [In unserer Zeit] at the prestigious exhibition Skulptur Projekte Münster.

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Gerard Byrne, Film Inside an Image

Moderna Museet, Stockholm

8 April – 3 September 2017

Solo exhibition curated by Magnus af Petersens.

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Gerard Byrne in Song of the Open Road

CAG Vancouver

1 April – 18 June 2017

Artists: Vikky Alexander, Robert Arndt, Gerard Byrne, Jacqueline Hoàng Nguyễn, Kelly Jazvac, Kelly Lycan, Niamh O’Malley, Dawit L. Petros, Greg Staats, Lisa Tan.

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We are the Center for Curatorial Studies

CCS Bard, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York

15 October – 16 December 2016

Curated by Paul O’Neill. Exhibiting artists: Can Altay, Martin Beck, David Blamey, Gerard Byrne, Nina Canell, Jasmina Cibic, Céline Condorelli, Sara Cwynar, Marjolijn Dijkman, Mary Heilmann, James Hoff, Vlatka Horvat, Matt Keegan, Chris Kraus, Gareth Long, Ronan McCrea, William McKeown, Ulrike Müller, Museum of American Art Berlin, Brian O’Doherty, Harold Offeh, Eduardo Padilha, Sarah Pierce, Falke Pisano, Elizabeth Price, Richard Venlet, Anton Vidokle, Lawrence Weiner, Grace Weir, Arseny Zhilyaev, and others.

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Gerard Byrne, A late evening in the future

ACCA, Melbourne

8 October – 27 November 2016

Museum solo exhibition.

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Gerard Byrne in Life inside an Image

Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA)

1 October – 10 December 2016

A newly commissioned video piece by Gerard Byrne, Jielemeguvvie guvvie sjisjneli (Film inside an Image), forms the centrepiece of this exhibition at MUMA.

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Gerard Byrne, Bright Sign

steirischer herbst, GrazMuseum, Graz, Austria

27 September 2015 – 11 January 2016

Solo exhibition

Gerard Byrne's exhibition Bright Sign will take place at the GrazMuseum in Graz as part of the Steirischer Herbst festival. Curated by Tessa Giblin.

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Gerard Byrne, The Persistence of Objects

Lismore Castle Arts, Ireland

20 June – 31 August 2015

Group exhibition

Marking its tenth year of visual arts exhibitions, Lismore Castle Arts is delighted to present its most ambitious project to date, The Persistence of Objects. Curated by The Common Guild this exhibition will be staged in existing gallery spaces, as well as a number of other locations around Lismore.

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Gerard Byrne, A Late Evening in the Future

Kunstmuseum St Gallen, Switzerland

6 June – 13 September 2015

Solo exhibition

A comprehensive exhibition, A Late Evening in the Future points to the various temporal levels that meet in Byrne’s large-scale works at Kunstmuseum St Gallen.

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Totally Dublin

Radio Ga Ga: Gerard Byrne, In Our Time

5 December 2017

In Our Time is twelve hours of footage of a fictional radio broadcast, shot with actors in a mise-en-scène created by Byrne at Westland Studios in Dublin. A DJ (played by Phelim Drew) spins tracks, gives weather bulletins, plays jingles and speaks to phone-in listeners from his soundproof booth, while in an adjacent recording studio a group of band members (so it seems) tinker with instruments and chat. The overall effect is something slightly off-kilter, out of joint with its time. Anachronistic props unbalance the general late-70s tone of the environment. The intermittently announced time of the radio broadcast is tied to the real-life time of the gallery, emphasising the real-time nature of terrestrial radio. Nostalgic hits pull the viewer/listener back to the decade past, resulting in a constant tugging of temporal awareness.—Rachel Donnelly

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The Irish Times

Gerard Byrne 'In Our Time'

2 December 2017

Byrne's installations are meticulously staged with high production values. They also work against conventional expectations. He often uses pre-existing texts such as magazine interviews. But it's as if he sets up carefully naturalistic settings and narratives, then approaches them with an eye to achieving a form of Brechtian alienation. The camera moves in unpredictable ways, as though following its own inclinations rather than trying to tell a formulaic story. And actors might deliver lines in disjointed ways, indifferent to habitual dramatic structure or emotional expression. The aim is to throw those structures and conventions into relief, to let the viewer see them out of the context of familiarity.—Aidan Dunne

RTÉ Arena

Gerard Byrne, Kerlin Gallery

29 November 2017

Gerard Byrne discusses his exhibition at Kerlin Gallery with Seán Rocks live on Arena, RTÉ Radio 1.

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The Irish Times

'Radio is built on pattern, like wallpaper'

13 December 2017

Byrne first visited Münster in February 2016. He had it in mind to do a radio-oriented piece at some stage, and it seemed a good fit. “Radio over the airways – not dependent on a broadband connection, say – always appealed to me. That it is so indiscriminate, because you don’t know who’s listening, anyone with a radio can listen.” Somehow, that chimed with the democratic ideal of the sculpture show’s origins. “And I thought, that era of radio, there’s a certain sense of community to it, and it speaks to the idea of a less fractious US.”    In addition he notes: “If you look at my earlier work, there’s long been an interest in the visual re acoustic patterns – some image of time constructed through media. I’m not saying I was thinking of all these things, but all the same I feel they did inform my decisions as I was finding the work.”—Aidan Dunne

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Garage Magazine

In Gerard Byrne's New Show, Video Hasn't Killed the Radio Star

3 November 2017

You could sit in Gerard Byrne's In Our Time for hours. When the work was first shown during Sculpture Project Münster, it occupied a warm music practice suite in the German town's enviable public library. Visitors descended to the basement and made their way to a small, darkened room, in which the noise was deadened by heavy doors and soundproofed walls. Within, Byrne's audio-visual work transported one to a comforting wood-lined radio studio in the US from which a deejay with a voice like diner coffee went about an accomplished live broadcast.—Hettie Judah

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Gerard Byrne, Moderna Museet, Stockholm

November 2017

Equipped with one of the most powerful recording devices of our time, Irish artist Gerard Byrne entered into this antiquated visual apparatus to document obsolete optical technology with the level of detail only a twenty-first-century machinic eye can achieve. Filmed with a high-definition camera and a Steadicam, and with every shot digitally joined—giving the illusion of a single seamless take in an environment that would not physically allow for it—Byrne’s Jielemeguvvie guvvie sjisjnjeli (Film Inside an Image), 2016, captures the high-tech visual apparatus of yesteryear using today’s advanced technology. The film’s apparent simplicity masks the complex and painstaking process involved in its production, as though to mirror the staged ease with which the taxidermied animals of the museum occupy their most unnatural posthumous habitats. The film is accompanied by a soundtrack composed of ambient field recordings and animal calls taken from databases. Adding naturalistic sound to the silent diorama, the audio is a form of digital enhancement. However, because the animals in the video are so obviously taxidermied, that enhancement in fact points to its own artificiality, creating a Brechtian distancing effect.—Yuki Higashino

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Skulptur Projekte Münster

11 September 2017

Presented in the basement of the City Library Münster, Gerard Byrne’s 20-minute film In Our Time takes place in a fictional radio control booth. A DJ reads the news, presents advertisements and plays music. The script is a mélange of various radio transcriptions of shows from the early 1970s. The film engagingly transports the viewer back to a different era and unveils what is usually invisible to the radio listener, while resonating with more recent phenomena such as a 24/7 news cycle, ‘fake news’ and a global broadcast culture.—Jens Hoffmann

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The Irish Times

Modern Ireland in 100 Artworks: New Sexual Lifestyles, by Gerard Byrne

23 July 2016

The artist’s re-creation of a 1970s Playboy panel discussion about sex raises questions about popular culture and mass media then and now.—Gavin Murphy

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A Q&A With Gerard Byrne, artist filmmaker

15 February 2016

Irish artist Gerard Byrne is known for film installations that deal with the presentation, manipulation and perception of narratives. For his show at Warwick Arts Centre he's premiering a new work filmed with one unbroken panning shot in Stockholm’s Biologiska Museet. He talks to Anneka French about location, light and methods of display.—Anneka French

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The White Review

Interview with Gerard Byrne

February 2016

I FIRST ENCOUNTERED GERARD BYRNE’S EERILY DISLOCATED FILMS AT TATE BRITAIN, where 1984 AND BEYOND (2005–7) was shown on loop for the best part of a year. In the piece, Byrne employs actors as mouthpieces for a panel discussion about the future, first printed in PLAYBOY in 1963. Danish actors in woollen vests and bow ties drift around a modernist villa in the Netherlands, ventriloquising the conversation as printed in the magazine. The atmosphere is uneasy, as if time and authorship have slipped their moorings...—Izabella Scott

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Whitechapel Gallery & Lisson Gallery, London, UK

April 2013

Clearly all the above works engage sexual attitudes in the last century – moments when the culture appeared propelled forward in some ways and lastingly hidebound in others. Such contradictions, seen from a distance, have been a fascination for Byrne ever since New sexual lifestyles (2003), displayed upstairs, which stages a roundtable discussion on sexual experimentation originally published in Playboy in 1973. The chief virtue of this retrospective was that it snapped into focus the artist’s nexus of interests around modernity and objecthood and objectification. If Byrne turns to theatrics against objecthood (and thus against the Michael Fried of ‘Art and Objecthood’, 1967), it is also against an objectifying that exceeds the art work and in which modern artists, in this context, are seen to be complicit.—Martin Herbert

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“Gerard Byrne: A State of Neutral Pleasure”

January 2013

Gerard Byrne’s practice is a gently vertiginous one: We construe the present, the Irish artist suggests, in relation to a past we know only via suspect representations. Accentuating this—sometimes through his actors’ inappropriate accents—Byrne engineers video installations that wonkily restage conversations pulled from broadcasting and magazine archives. He brings Brechtian unraveling and tangled temporality to bear on historical evidence that has been, to some degree, theatricalized or mediated at its source: an acted version of a future-predicting 1963 Playboy roundtable among twelve well-known science-fiction writers in 1984 and Beyond, 2005; a 1920s discussion involving a group of Surrealists, restaged as a television play in front of a studio audience, in A Man and a Woman Make Love, 2012. The latter, shown at Documenta 13, receives its UK premiere in this survey, alongside six other film installations and Byrne’s parallel strand of photographic works.—Martin Herbert

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The Guardian

Gerard Byrne: A state of neutral pleasure

20 January 2013

Gerard Byrne is an Irish artist in his early 40s whose name has been on people's lips of late. He was a hit at last autumn's Documenta in Kassel, has represented Ireland twice at the Venice Biennale and had solo shows in capital cities across the world. His work is lens-based, in gallery parlance, meaning that he makes videos, films and photographs. But he is mainly known for videos, and these are mainly reconstructions of conversations between historic figures taken from old magazines. He turns texts into scripts into visual dramas, with strikingly intelligent results.—Laura Cumming 

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Aesthetica Magazine

Gerard Byrne at MK Gallery

25 January 2011

Gerard Byrne grew up in Dublin in the 1970s. It was a time and place where socio-political realities were filtered through the hazy gauze of influence installed by the Roman Catholic doctrine. The chasm between historical facts and fictions, and their distance in time and space from the present, informs Byrne’s artistic repertoire.—Nicola Mann

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art agenda

Gerard Byrne’s “Present Continuous Past”

18 February 2013

To adequately reflect on the present moment requires a certain distance, some way of pulling out of the perpetual now of contemporary time and into another. This phenomenon can be evidenced in the compression of time that occurs when attempting to recall the near past; years turn into events and decades into fashions.—Gil Leung

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Art in America

Gerard Byrne, Lismore Castle Arts

7 October 2010

Byrne’s installa­tion operates in a deconstructive mode, prompting the reflection that the meanings and effects of Minimalist objects were never produced and sustained by direct perceptual encounter alone.—Ed Krcma

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