Limerick City Gallery 2014
26 September 2014
26th September to 18th November 2014

Superimposition, Simultaneity, Intertwining – 1920s architect Friedrick Kiesler’s architectural and spatial interrogations are the platforms for Elaine Byrne’s mixed media odyssey, from where she examines how we live and how could we live better.  Phrased as endless and circular questions, Byrne asks in what way is our humanity revealed in how we live in the 21st century. In a deft sculptural gesture, Byrne continues Kielser’s quest to reconcile nature and architecture in attempting to build Kiesler’s unrealised life project - the Endless House. 


Using the first floor galleries of the Limerick City Gallery of Art, Byrne uses Kiesler’s legacy to further her interrogations of perception of space and its effect on our ability to build and live. Through scientific experimentation, sculpture and text, she goes beyond the footprint or floor plan to propose alternative starting points from which to build - where the objective at the outset is to satisfy the dweller’s psyche, with mental, physical and social circumstances as the variables that determine and shape living space.  Echoing Martin Heidegger ‘only if we are capable of dwelling, only then can we build’Byrne proposes to live space rather than look at it.


Looking at materials and technology, materiality and potential, Byrne elaborates her search by examining what lies under the skin of being in the world, reconciling the built environment with the illogic, the emotional and the constant flux of life lived.  She challenges contemporary ways of seeing and suggests seeing architecture in where and how we live as an extension of the human body rather than an upending of it, suggesting a sympathy and alignment with the cyclical rhythms of nature, where ornamentation is a needless, distracting aesthetic device.


RAUMPLAN, meaning space plan or the yet unrealized vision of a space or room follows on from Byrnes earlier work RAUM (2013) which questioned the a desire to escape an unchanging state of inertia in order to free oneself to live within what might be thought of as a literally utopian “non-space.”