IPF: Stills From Imaginary Films – Luke Byrne

Words by Julia Howland

Photos by J Forsyth

I stopped going to gallery openings years ago. Not because I don’t like art but because i don’t like the people that go to gallery openings. I don’t like what art has become or what people think they become when they associate themselves with art. I find myself to be the angry (usually intoxicated), misanthropist in the corner complaining about, “Those damned hipsters!”

Tonight was not one of those nights.

Luke Byrne’s Stills From Imagainary Films introduces the viewer to feelings of vulnerability and contemplation, while creating an atmosphere that feels familiar and intriguing. We are all the same. We are here to appreciate. We are here to understand. This is the mentality that Byrne’s photography creates.

There is no room for arrogance in this small space, with a warming allure from the doorway to the soft-smiling gent handing me free booze. I wander through each photo with the idea that this a still from a film. But these are films that don’t exist and the deeper I look, the more I envision that these are simply stills from life, where the end has not yet been envisioned or even acknowledged. These are moments that wouldn’t be considered suitable for photographic importance.Yet they are laid here in front of me and speak nothing but truth.

“I’d Rather Be Your Enemy” provides the most powerful impact. Not only because of its size, but because it is the only photo that shows the subject’s full face. Exposed and with the spray of a flame, this photo creates the feeling of a scorned woman, when hiding is no longer an option.

This show gave me hope. This show allowed me to love openings again. Let the hipsters go to the crap shows and leave the good ones for us.