Words at an Exhibition, Busan Biennale 2020
Until 8th November 2020
The Busan Biennale 2020 edition is pleased to announce its artistic theme, organized by Artistic Director Jacob Fabricius, of the exhibition opening this September. Words at an Exhibition — an exhibition in ten chapters and five poems examines the city of Busan to expand the various spectrums of a metropolis through artistic expressions. For the 2020 exhibition, ten fiction writers and one poet were invited to write on the characteristics of the city of Busan as a conceptual basis for selecting the artists, each responding through new commissions and existing works within the context of the exhibition. The authors have each created and written fictional layers around and about the city, some with direct reference to Busan, others through indirect and ephemeral urban tales involving the locale. Mixing past, present, and future, the artists and writers involved in the exhibition use Busan as a backdrop in ways that create a narrative that simultaneously combines reality, history, and imagination through experiences of contemporary fiction, a focus on soundscapes and film works, as well as paintings, photographs, sculptures, and site-specific installations.
Busan Biennale 2020
Commissioned for Gerard Byrnes 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.
Galerie Nordenhake Stockholm AB
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