John Gerrard is an artist whose varied works investigate the emotional possibilities of digital technologies, creating pieces that allow us to question our physical and psychological identities, our relations to each other and toward the physical environment.
Working in the arena of new technology, Gerrard’s understanding and manipulation of the medium is extraordinary. He explores the rift between real and the virtual by his insistence that real space and time be programmed into the behaviour of virtual. His sculptures and images frequently hinge around the new temporal and experiential possibilities to be found in real-time 3D.
The works could be described as virtual sculptures, which makes them somewhat like film in that they are time based but are also sculptural and photographic. New works in this exhibition Dark Portraits show include Smoke Tree (2006), a virtual sculpture with the central basis formed by an oak tree that is transformed as it emits plumes of dark and swirling carbon, creating a mesmerising and ever-changing tableaux. The work operates from dawn to dusk, constantly moving around the central motif.
One Thousand Year Dawn (2005) presents a portait of a young man on a beach, looking out to sea. There is no movement apart from the roll and ebb of the tide. The scene seems still and yet the sun rising in the screen will finish it’s journey in September 3005.
In addition, Gerrard will show a series of photographs titled ‘Dark Portraits’, which are part on an ongoing project of placing subjects in a completely dark room and then photographing with a series of flash bulbs. The appearance of the sitter seems lost, staring into a void, the visual relationship with the world suspended.
Gerrard was born in 1974 and lives and works both in Dublin and Vienna, Austria. A recipient of various awards and residencies, including the Siemens Residency at the Ars Electronica Furure Lab in Linz and an Arts Council residency in Banff, Canada, Gerrard has exhibited widely in Ireland and abroad. He first exhibited in the RHA as part of Eurojet Futures in 2004 and again in 2005 as part of the anthology exhibition. Gerrard is represented by Hiliger Contemporary Gallery, Vienna.
A full colour catalogue with essays by Shane Brighton and Christiane Paul, Curator of New Media at the Whitney Museum, NY will accompany this exhibition