Why it's Time for Imperial, Again

with Itinerant

  • <p>photo: John Berens</p>

    photo: John Berens

  • <p>photo: John Berens</p>

    photo: John Berens

31 Ludlow St, New York
(corner Ludlow and Hester Streets)

Opening Saturday 27 October , 6-8pm.

Exhibition runs from 27 October- 25 November 2012
Thursday - Sunday Noon - 6:00 pm

Rose Lord and Mari Spirito are pleased to announce an exhibition with Gerard Byrne at 31 Ludlow St, the third in an occasional series of exhibitions in vacated spaces in New York, and the second collaboration between Itinerant and Protocinema.

On the eve of the forthcoming elections, the exhibition proposes a perspective on current debates by revisiting a work made in New York at another time. 'Why It's Time for Imperial, Again', one of Byrne's earliest works, was made between 1998-2002, and recalls a period of US history from the early 1980s. The installation, combining photographs with a filmed re-enactment, was the first of a series of acclaimed projects Byrne produced working with direct reference to popular magazines. These works, which often reference American mainstream magazine titles, have only rarely been seen in the US.

In 'Why It's Time for Imperial, Again' two actors are filmed reconstructing a dialogue between Chrysler chairman Lee Iacocca and Frank Sinatra which was originally published in an elaborate advertisement for the new Chrysler Imperial in National Geographic's November 1980 issue. Using deliberate devices of alienation and repetition, actors and crew dramatically hypothesize upon the conversation between Sinatra and Iacocca. At a time when there is so much discussion around the life and death of the US auto industry and of the very nature of capitalism, the 'double fictionality' evident in Byrne's work - 'one that goes back and forth between the fictionalization of the real and the realisation of a fiction' [1], can help us reflect on a moment of disenfranchisement, decline and alienation within contemporary America.

Gerard Byrne's work has been exhibited at Documenta 13, the 54th Venice Biennale, and in previous Sydney, Gwangju, Lyon, and Istanbul biennales. Recent solo exhibitions include the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Renaissance Society, Chicago (both 2011), Lismore Castle, Ireland (2010), Green On Red Gallery, Dublin (2009, 2004); Lisson Gallery, London (2009, 2007) and at the 2007 Venice Biennale, where he represented Ireland. Recent group exhibitions include Stage Presence, SFMOMA, El mañana ya estuvo aquí;, Museo Tamayo, both in 2012, You have been there, Marian Goodman Gallery, Abstractions sentimentales et quelques editions, Cneai, Paris, 'For Eindhoven' The city as muse, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands, in 2011.

Itinerant / Protocinema is a collaboration of two organizations. Itinerant, founded by Rose Lord, presents occasional exhibitions in spaces in New York which have become vacant due to the economic downturn. The works exhibited aim to reflect and comment on the circumstances in which they are shown.

Protocinema, founded by Mari Spirito in 2011, is a transnational experiment making nomadic exhibitions in New York and Istanbul, non profit with a hands-on Education Program.

With Special Thanks to Green On Red Gallery, Dublin; Lisson Gallery, London; Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm; Mark Godfrey, Marian Goodman; Sascha Bauer; Augusto Abrizo; Lisa Spellman, Bruce Altshuler, Elizabeth Baribeau. and to the cast and crew of the original production.

[1] Maria Muhle, Why It's Time for Realism, Again, Afterall, 2007.


Gerard Byrne

by Nicolas Linnert

November 14, 20912

Gerard Byrne: ‘Why It’s Time for Imperial, Again’

by Ken Johnson

November 8, 2012