Paul Rooney

Paul Rooney: The Futurist excerpt, 2008 from Paul Rooney on Vimeo.

The Futurist (excerpt), 2008. Acquired for the Victoria Gallery & Museum, University of Liverpool 2010-11. Image courtesy the artist. © the artist

Paul Rooney was born in Liverpool and trained at Edinburgh College of Art. From 1998 to 2000 he released three albums as the band ‘Rooney’, featuring in John Peel’s Festive Fifty in 1998, as well as recording a session for the show a year later. Since then he has continued to make text, sound and video works which use or reference language based forms such as songs, audio guides, short stories and lectures. 
Paul has had residencies at Dundee Contemporary Arts/University of Dundee VRC; Proyecto Batiscafo, Cuba; Tate Liverpool (MOMART Fellowship) and was an ACE Oxford-Melbourne Artist Fellow. He was included in British Art Show 6 which toured around the UK in 2005-2006, and has shown in group exhibitions and screenings at Tate Britain, Whitechapel Gallery, and the ICA, London; Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid; Kunst-Werke, Berlin; National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh; Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville; and Tate Liverpool. Text artworks by Paul have been published by Serpent’s Tail and Whitechapel Gallery/MIT Press, and a collection of his short fiction was published by Akerman Daly/Aye Aye Books in 2012. 
Other projects include a solo show at Matt’s Gallery, London, a 12” red vinyl record broadcast on BBC Radio 1 and BBC 6 Music and a site-specific sound ‘lecture’ for Leeds Metropolitan University and Sound and Music. Paul was the winner of the second Northern Art Prize in 2008.


Paul Rooney’s text, sound and video works focus on the instabilities and deceptions of language and narrative, particularly in relation to representing place and the historical past. The pieces present differing storytelling ‘voices’, often from ‘real’ sources, which are then rendered and sometimes deliberately and humorously disrupted through stylistic or formal play. This and other aspects of the works reinforce the artifice of the artistic process and the aesthetic encounter, but also imply that the boundaries between fact and fiction are not always clearly defined, and that constructed representational forms – for all their flaws and deceit – are all we have to engage with the world.



Paul Rooney biography:

HOMER –– HEPHAESTUS sited text work, Storey Institute, Lancaster. Commissioned by Storey Gallery and Litfest in 2011:

Dust and Other Stories by Paul Rooney, a book of short fiction published by Akerman Daly and Aye-Aye Books (2012) is available here: