Image: Imperial Still, courtesy of the artist


Gerard Byrne exhibition 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.

Itinerant – is a collaboration between Rose Lord and Mari Spirito which 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.

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

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

Opening Reception:
6 – 8pm, 27 Oct 2012
Exhibition Dates: 27 Oct – 25 Nov 2012
Exhibition Venue: 31 Ludlow St, New York, (corner Ludlow and Hester Streets), NY


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