Rope Series: Jeffery Byrd

"Silence," 2009, Open Festival, Beijing, China. Photo by Arielle Bier

“I use a lot of ribbon in my work and in earlier pieces I used both rope and string.  These materials are like 3-D lines.  They seem like metaphors for time and space and the path one’s life takes.  Except that with a physical string you can move forward or backwards across that time.  Theseus used string to find his way out of the labyrinth.”

"Silence," 2009, Open Festival, Beijing, China. Photo by Arielle Bier

"Silence," 2009, Open Festival, Beijing, China. Photo by Arielle Bier

"Silence," 2009, Open Festival, Beijing, China. Photo by Arielle Bier

"Silence," 2009, Open Festival, Beijing, China. Photo by Arielle Bier

“In China, I pulled the ribbon from my pocket like a magician as I moved in one direction.  I pushed it into my mouth as I moved back across the same space.  The red ribbon also reminds me of the path inside your body…your guts.”

"10,957 Knots (my 30th birthday)" 1994

“I once tied knots in a long piece of string for every day that I had been alive as of my 30th birthday (10,957 knots).”

"Bath of Venus," 2007, Bone festival, Bern, Switzerland. photo by Martin Rindlisbacher

"Bath of Venus," 2007, Bone festival, Bern, Switzerland. photo by Martin Rindlisbacher

“I used dental floss to change the shape of my face in Bath of Venus.  The road to beauty is paved with ugliness.”

"Countless Days, Endless Nights," 1993, Univ. of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art. photo by Jeff Martin

"Countless Days, Endless Nights," 1993, Univ. of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art. photo by Jeff Martin

“In one of my earliest pieces, a beautiful white rope held bricks suspended above my head.  I was wrapped in black duct tape and displayed like a human sculpture for the duration of the exhibition opening.  When the audience was gone, the tape was cut away and left like a shed skin on the gallery floor.” – Jeffery Byrd

Jeffery Byrd is a performance and video artist who has presented work all over the globe.  He has exhibited in over 75 group exhibitions and 15 solo exhibitions and has performed at such notable venues as Lincoln Center in New York and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.  Byrd has participated in performance and video festivals in major cities throughout the US and in Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Columbia, Mexico, Italy and the UK. His art explores the metaphoric potential of the human body the relationships between reality and artifice through video, movement, original music and otherworldly vocals.

Byrd is a frequent lecturer at art schools and universities, including Parson’s School of Design in New York, University of the Arts in Philadelphia, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  His work has been featured in various books published by Brown & Benchmark, Simon & Schuster, Routledge Press and Rizzoli International.