[July 26-28] Bill Beirne: The Parachutist

A Three Channel Video Installation with projections, artifacts, and related documents. This absurdist performance work addresses issues such as extraordinary rendition, identity, genealogy and the futility of tracing of ones mtDNA. This event is part of this year’s New York Electronic Art Festival.

[Jul 26-28 2013] The Parachutist, A Non-Combatant Aesthete Seeks Sanctuary In The Place Of His Origins

Bill Beirne
Opening Reception: Friday July 26th 2013, 7pm
Open to the Pubic: Saturday July 27 and Sunday July 28 2013 3 pm – 7 pm

Harvestworks – www.harvestworks.org
596 Broadway, #602 | New York, NY 10012 | Phone: 212-431-1130
Subway: F/M/D/B Broadway/Lafayette, R Prince, 6 Bleeker

Parachutist - photo Bill BeirneThe Parachutist, A Non-Combatant Aesthete, Seeks Sanctuary In the Place of His Origins Dressed in an orange jumpsuit, carrying a parachute, compass, binoculars, and maps; The Parachutist falls to earth in the French Alps. Hoping to avoid those who might pursue him, he seeks high ground at Crussol, a 13th Century ruin near Valence. Feeling tentative and vulnerable in those surroundings, he decides that he must seek sanctuary in his place of origin. He begins tracing the steps of his ancestry.

Arriving on the beach at Wexford Rossier, he treks through the Irish countryside in search of sanctuary within his ancestor’s farm in Dunamon, County Roscommon. There he does find the ruins of his great-great grandparents dwelling but soon discovers that recent research traces his mtDNA to the Iceman, a five thousand year old corpse, found frozen in the Italian Alps in 1991. He proceeds on his trek north and west to the coast of Ireland where he anticipates the crossing to Rotterdam.

The Parachutist, a Non-Combatant Aesthete Seeks Sanctuary in the Place of his Origin, is a three channel video installation addressing issues of Extraordinary Rendition, identity, heritage and the tracing of DNA. The work, which might be compared to creative non-fiction, consists of the “Parachutist …” physically tracing the source of his origins, hoping to find a place where he might find refuge or sanctuary.

This project is made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts’ Electronic Media and Film Presentation Funds grant program, administered by The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes (www.NYSCA.org  www.eARTS.org). arts council


The Parachutist - Photo - Kay HinesBill Beirne currently lives and works in New York City. For more than three decades Beirne’s conceptual art has examined public space, communication, interactivity and sociological concerns through public performance. Beirne has exhibited extensively since the early 1970s at institutions including P.S.1/MoMA, New York; the National Center for Contemporary Art in Kaliningrad, Russia; TV Gallery, Moscow; MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge; the Sculpture Center, New York; the International Center of Photography, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Anthology Film Archives, New York; the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; and Artists Space, New York.

In addition to lecturing at museums and galleries around the world, he has been a Visiting Artist and Artist in Residence at Colgate University, New York University, MIT, Pratt Institute, University of New Mexico, Buffalo University and Indiana University at Purdue. In 2009 Beirne was commissioned by Madison Square Park Conservancy for its first performance based video installation, Madison Square Trapezoids with performances by the Vigilant Groundsman. He is the recipient of artist’s fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and The New York State Council on the Arts.

Parachutist Detail - photo Bill Beirne


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