GLUE is the first feature-length film by Irish artist Oisín Byrne, with artist and collaborator Gary Farrelly. Told through manic and confessional monologues and dialogues, Gary – a cross-dressing narcoleptic – delivers a comic insight into our shattered subjectivity.
As Gary comes off the mood-enhancing drugs used to treat his narcolepsy, time and identity are dislocated between places real and imagined: Gary’s flat in Brussels, a disintegrating Irish country house, the ‘floating train’ in Wuppertal, Gary’s own grave, and a maternity ward. Gary himself is linguistically pyrotechnic, quick-witted, and provocative, but it is the hesitations, slow-time and the intimate space of filmmaking that produce a portrait which is both tender and brutally touching.
The film articulates Byrne’s ongoing interrogation of identity formation through linguistic models of naming, shaming, interpellation and performativity, particularly in relation to queer experience. In Farrelly’s dextrous performance, at turns good humoured and desperate, we see the shuttling of subjectivity between belonging and alienation, identification and wilful refusal of categorisation. The psychic rupture caused by these breaks is palpable.
Long term collaborators Byrne and Farrelly periodically placed themselves in proximity to each other, inventing and instituting game spaces and terms over a period of five years. These itinerant meeting-places provided a series of elsewheres from what Samuel Beckett describes as ‘the danger [of… ] the neatness of identifications’.
Oisin Byrne (b.1983) is an Irish artist, writer and film-maker based in London. He received his BA from NCAD Dublin, and his MFA from Goldsmiths University London. Byrne’s work has been exhibited and screened internationally in institutions including Salzburger Kunstverein, Witte de With Centre for Contemporary Art Rotterdam, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, and Princeton University NJ. His work is substantially represented in the Irish State Collection. Part One of his essay series “On Being Named”, unpacking name-calling and insult, was published in EROS Journal VIII. He works as a creative consultant to film-maker Sophie Fiennes, with “Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami” premiering at Toronto Film Festival in late 2017. He is an associate lecturer at Central Saint Martins and London College of Communications.
Gary Farrelly (b.1983) is an Irish artist based in Brussels. His work encompasses installation, video, written correspondence and performance. Farrelly received his BA from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin and his MFA from LUCA School of the Arts in Belgium. Much of his practice happens under the name Office for Joint Administrative Intelligence (OJAI) with German photographer Chris Dreier. Recent OJAI performances include White Paper on the Abolition of Tunnels at AIR Antwerpen and Letters of Last Resort at Damien and & Love Guru, Brussels. His works have been screened and exhibited in a number of international contexts including: Salzburger Kunstverein, The University of Texas, Dallas, Marres- House for Contemporary Culture, Maastricht and The Museum of Contemporary Art in Banja Luka, Bosnia.
Episodes is an ongoing series of solo presentations that cuts through the main programming at Goldsmiths CCA and provides a counterpoint to the larger-scale exhibitions. Spanning installations, screenings, discursive events and new commissions, Episodes provides an experimental platform for emerging or recently graduated artists. The series kicked-off with Oisín Byrne’s GLUE, and continues in 2019 with presentations by Adam Christensen (27 April – 26 May 2019), Corey Hayman (20 July – 1 Sept 2019) and Roland Carline (16 Nov 2019 – 12 Jan 2020).
Video stills, Glue, 2017. Courtesy of the artist.