Alma Enterprises is proud to present a solo show by London based artist Roisin Byrne. It's Not You It's Me is a work that takes this break-up platitude and perversely stands it on its head (1). Taking on the guise of a false collector in order to find out information on a quasi mythical work by Italian artist Roberto Cuoghi, Byrne discovered that the artist himself did not exist. Cuoghi had sought to become his father over 7 years by gaining weight, dying his hair and adopting the lifestyle and mannerisms of a 60 year old man. Byrne became fascinated by his apparent non-existence and that this 'event', always written about as 'not being a work' was what the artist Cuoghi was most renowned for.
Taking the opportunity to become the artist herself she legally changed her name to Roberto Cuoghi, opened a bank account and began to buy up work on the secondary market with a credit card in Cuoghi's name. Adopting the online persona of the artist Byrne begun to receive exhibition invitations as Robert Cuoghi. Having new works made for a show in particular Byrne's project It's Not You It's Me tracks the inhabitation and /or occupation of one artist's territory and the production and exhibition of works in another artist's name.
Byrne's practice humorously yet aggressively challenges the boundaries of how an artist is allowed to behave prodding and provoking to unravel the accepted rules that structure art and its associations with culture, freedom and independence. Her work depicts the shift in art practice in which ideas and information become fluid, a common property which can be invoked, adapted and absorbed, violating the established mechanisms for making art, as well as the status of artwork itself.
In June 2009 Byrne began a correspondence with the Turner prize-winning artist Simon Starling, claiming admiration for his work, only to use the information she gained against him. She posed as a horticulturist, stole a rhododendron from his earnestly titled installation Rescuing Rhododendrons (2000) at the Parque Los Alcornocales in Spain and smuggled it back with her to the U.K. on a budget airline flight. Byrne exhibited their email correspondence in full, along with the plant, in a piece she entitled You Don't Bring Me Flowers Anymore. In Look What You Made Me Do from 2008, she enticed the artist Jochem Hendricks into an extended correspondence that resulted in her putting her own bank details on his financial form so that she could later receive his payment and use it to create a replica of one of his works; a single gold bar.
Curated by Charlie Tweed and Ben Tomlinson
The works in this exhibition have been provided courtesy of The Goma, Madrid.
(1) Kaleidoscope Magazine online, Chris Sharp review of Roisin Byrne at The Goma, Madrid
Roisin Byrne (Dublin, 1981) lives and works in London. She studied at the Dublin Institute of Technology and The Russian Academy of Theatre Arts, before completing an MFA at Goldsmiths in 2009. Recent exhibitions include It's Not You It's Me (ongoing) a solo show at The Goma Gallery, Madrid , an upcoming solo show at Pallas Contemporary Projects, Dublin and In February 2012 she will be part of the group exhibition 'Duplicitous Storytellers' at Casa Del Lago, Mexico City, alongside Simon Fujiwara, Mario García Torres, John Menick, Stephen Prina, Walid Raad and Tyler Rowland. She is represented by The Goma, Madrid.
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