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MoMA PS1 Presents the First Large-Scale Museum Exhibition in New York of Ryan Trecartin’s Work

MoMA PS1

presents the first large-scale museum exhibition in New York of work by the artist Ryan Trecartin.

Ryan Trecartin: Any Ever

fills seven galleries with sculptural theater installations that house projections of the seven movies comprising Trecartin’s most recent body of work,

Any Ever

(2009–2010). The exhibition is on view in the First Floor Main Galleries from June 19 through September 3, 2011.

Trecartin’s distinctive cinematic and sculptural language — developed through a close synergy with his primary collaborator, Lizzie Fitch — continues a tradition of art that heralds, shapes, and challenges the defining technologies and cultural advances of the era. Consistent with his work to date,

Any Ever

explores emergent concepts of identity, narrative, language, and visual culture through darkly jubilant, frenetic formal experimentations.

Shot in Miami, Florida, and made with contributors ranging from friends and artists to child actors and reality-television performers,

Any Ever

comprises seven autonomous but interrelated videos. The work is structured as a diptych, with

Trill-ogy Comp

(three movies) as one section and

Re’Search Wait’S

(four movies) as the other. Taken together, these videos embark on poetic, formal, and structural elaborations of new forms of technology, language, narrative, identity, and humanity. The individual videos fit together in shifting combinations, with

Any Ever

’s master narrative chosen by each viewer.

Trill-ogy Comp

consists of three movies:

K-CoreaINC.K (section a)

,

Sibling Topics (section a)

, and

P.opular S.ky (section ish)

K-CoreaINC.K (section a)

features actors styled as corporate beings called “Koreas.” Held together in a lightly allegorical cloud of reductive international stereotypes, they are homogenized by their blond wigs, powder, and office-casual attire. The video revolves around an unending party-like meeting, led by Global Korea (Telfar Clemens), whose circular narrative evades a traditional dramatic arc. The Koreas seem focused only on absurd self-perpetuation, whereby the maintenance of their careers is the principal goal of their jobs.

Sibling Topics (section a)

adopts a narrative and style that are more cinematic and seemingly straightforward than any of Trecartin’s other works. The artist plays quadruplet sisters named Ceader, Britt, Adobe, and Deno, whose personal boundaries are indistinct, as is the nature of their group dynamic, which seems both familial and corporate.

Sibling Topics

counterbalances the circularity of

K-CoreaINC.K

, and together the two videos explore dimensions of narrative absurdity as well as the persistence with which communities form, hybridize, and thrive in any circumstance

P.opular S.ky (section ish)

submerges characters from other sections of

Any Ever

. The events of

P.opular S.ky

are the fevered and shadowy projections of a mind being played with. Whether real or not, these situations key the arc and understanding of the rest of

Trill-ogy Comp

by depicting versions of their finalities.

The second part of the diptych,

Re’Search Wait’S

, comprises four movies:

Ready, The Re’Search, Roamie View: History Enhancement

, and

Temp Stop.

As a picture of modern consumer society taken to an extreme,

Re’Search Wait’S

verges on social science fiction and ties together the two sections of the diptych as a yin and yang of nihilism and boundless meaning.

In

Ready

, the character Wait, played by Trecartin, is introduced as the eponymous figure of the series. He forsakes a career in favor of a job, the execution of which Trecartin calls a “work performance.” Wait is joined by a careerist, Ready (Veronica Gelbaum), who calls the shots but is locked in her own endless narcissistic ascent. A third type of worker, Able (Lizzie Fitch), more fluidly adopts and discards the gestures of job and career, positing herself as a hobbyist who contrives the situations and outcomes she needs to keep her going. The idea of “transumerism,” or consumerism driven by experience, is also introduced as a central theme.

Roamie View : History Enhancement

reveals the character JJ as a husk of his former self. In the movie he hires Roamie Hood’s (Alison Powell) company to roam backwards through time to research an opportunity for an edit that could alter his future-present. With Backseat Grace (Rachel Lord) and Liberty Lance (Liz Rywelski), Roamie enters the suburban lair of three average teenage boys and then an animated environment strewn with stock footage videos of female assistants in both corporate and shopping settings. Traversing times and possibilities as if they were physical places,

Roamie View: History Enhancement

forgoes the importance of grasping who one is in favor of where.

The Re’Search

is a “tween-aged” microcosm of

Any Ever

. Functioning as market research collected by the character Wait for the character Ready, the movie doubles as the site of Wait’s vacation. Echoed versions of scenarios from other sections of

Any Ever

play out here, and characters either reappear or are replicated as young girls. It is also a production commissioned for the character Voy, who moves in and out of the action while blurring the boundaries of what is inside and outside reality and fiction.

Temp Stop

, as the title implies, has a disjunctive quality that separates it from the other parts of

Re’Search Wait’S

. As if emanating from the basement of

Any Ever

, each scene plays like a hidden epilogue in which the characters appear surreal—in part because they are often so ordinary.

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