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PHOTOMONTH IN KRAKOW — 2010 Photomonth_kropki_duze

LISA BYRNE Photomonth_kropki_duze

Taxi Trilogy



To fund her art practice Lisa Byrne drove taxis for a time in Northern Ireland. She made films with a camera attached to the dashboard of the car. From these journeys she produced three short films consisting of conversations between her and her passengers. The first film, Taxi 1: Partyin’, documents the night-time stories of people going out on the town, showing off their personalities, enjoying themselves. To the artist’s mind this is the way the residents of Northern Ireland get away from the politics that have invaded their lives.

Taxi 2: New Year’s Day 2007 5am is an uncomfortable film, the tale of a taxi ride with a suspicious-looking man, who turns out to be a drug dealer for the Ulster Freedom Force. The film documents Byrne’s ride home in the company of another passenger, Adrian, who agreed to stay in the car to protect the artist/taxi driver from the dangerous passenger. Taxi 2 shows Lisa’s chaotic attempt to tell Adrian the story. In her panic she speaks unclearly, and the cuts in the film don’t allow you to find out the conclusion. In Taxi 3: “Stand up And Cry Like a Man” taxi drivers speak of surviving attacks by paramilitary organisations in the 1980s and 1990s, when their profession was particularly hazardous. Years later, these onetime macho men are shaken up, and suffer from insomnia. The montage makes the various stories overlap, creating the impression that we are hearing the same story. For this work Lisa Byrne skillfully joined the protagonists, combining their shared experiences. The film lasts three minutes. The viewers have to keep step with the rhythm, which the artist herself compares to that of a machine gun.
Lisa Byrne’s films are reminiscent of songs, but also bear testimony to a profound need to speak of political trauma. According to the artist, ‘illustrating the process is a way to begin healing the wounds’. When she was a teenager, she had a friend die from bullets from a paramilitary loyalist organization. Work on the Taxi trilogy helped her to deal with this loss. ‘Fifteen years ago the conflict made people numb, but now they’re able to say: I have a psychological problem, I have to work on it. I think the time has come to give these people the chance to speak in art’.



Lisa Byrne - Taxi Trilogy
Coordinator: Joanna Piotrowska

Grand opening: 8.05.2010, 3:00 p.m.
former Potocka Gallery, 10 Sikorskiego square (annexe)
Exhibition dates: 8–30.05.2010; TUE-FRI: 4:00p.m.-7:00p.m., SAT-SUN: 12:00a.m.-6:00p.m.