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Indepth Arts News:

"John Gerrard : New Work in New Media"
2003-10-22 until 2003-11-30
Gallery of Photography
Dublin, , IE Ireland

Young Irish artist John Gerrard has created an important body of radical and experimental work. It breaks new ground in our understanding of the time-honoured genre of portraiture. Gerrard’s portraits are not photographs or videos, they are the new medium of realtime 3D objects, a kind of ‘sculptural photography’ or ‘new cinema’. These technologically sophisticated works offer a rigorous conceptual engagement with the fundamentals of portraiture. They are also a lot of FUN to experience and interact with.

The main work, entitled 'Portrait Diptych' presents a kind of impossible, responsive mirror: two portraits of the same androgynous character are presented on two pivoted touch-screens. The viewer can change their expressions - make them blink, frown or smile, for example. When the screens are turned to face one another, the two portrait characters interact.

In a delightful updating of the sense that painted portraits are watching us, Gerrard’s 'Watchful Portrait' presents a young man who continually scans the gallery and responds to the presence of a viewer by following him/her with his gaze.

'Saddening Portrait' plays with the new temporal possibilities of 3D media: here, a portrait will progressively sadden in appearance over 100 years, beginning on the opening night of the show. This work is presented on a prototype device consisting of a mini PC, touchscreen and custom-designed housing. This solution is designed to allow works of this nature to be easily installed in domestic spaces. Indeed, this piece has already been purchased for a private collection.

On the upper level of the gallery, the artist has conceived of the entire space as a ‘Viewing Platform’ onto a photorealistic 3D landscape encircling the building. Gerrard's viewing platform presents illusionistic 'windows' onto the landscape which was commissioned from Martin Brunker, a virtual landscape specialist.

SEMINAR: Thursday November 27th at 2pm The Gallery of Photography is delighted to confirm that Mr. Gerfried Stocker, Director of the Ars Electronica Centre in Linz, Austria, will give a presentation about the artistic potential of new media. John Gerrard will also talk about his work. Places strictly limited, booking essential.

About the artist: John Gerrard, born 1974, Tipperary. Currently based in Dublin. Recently completed a long term artists residency in the world renowned Ars Electronica Futurelab in Austria. He has an MSc Multimedia (TCD); MA Fine Art (School of the Art Institute of Chicago); BA Sculpture (The Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art, Oxford). He has exhibited internationally with upcoming shows in Bejing, Singapore, Madrid and London He has received numerous awards and scholarships, including a Gallery of Photography Development Bursary for the work in this exhibition.

Viewing Platform (Mountain View)
Copyright John Gerrard

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