Ryan Trecartin’s Internet Madness Contained in a Book
Ryan Trecartin’s work is proudly internet-y. That doesn't make it anti-book, necessarily, but his movies seem bred for dot-com-confusion, filled with nonsensical Twitter-like chatter, edited to resemble the videos on YouTube of tweens lipsyncing their favorite songs and de-gendered characters screaming loudly in wigs and makeup. Trecartin is insistent on putting up all of his work to view for free on his Vimeo, and he's right do so: his art is a sensory experience, disorienting because of how it attacks your eyes and ears. Without handheld speakers and LCD video screens, a book that mostly just collages screenshots of his work with intelligent commentary could never really do it total justice.
With Trecartin's first monograph, Any Ever, the editor Kevin McGarry has done his best to get a handle on Trecartin's work, sometimes successfully, sometimes unsuccessfully. There are a few essays in the new book that are long winded and loaded with academic jargon, and, maybe in honor of the artist himself, hard to follow. There's also some really great insight from the artist himself, by way of an interview with Cindy Sherman. Most importantly, there are loads and loads of fun to look at but quietly static images taken from his movies. Maybe there's some benefit in seeing Trecartin's work devoid of movement and hyperactivity, but it's still best to read this book with your laptop open close by. Check out a slideshow of select images above and head to Rizzoli’s site to buy the book.