Ryan Trecartin <br/>
born United States 1981<br/>
<em>The Re’Search (Re’Search Wait’S)</em> 2009–10 (still)<br/>
colour high definition video, 40 min 6 sec<br/>
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne<br/>
(ARG# TRN2009-007.1)<br/>
© Ryan Trecartin, courtesy of Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York
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Ryan Trecartin 
born United States 1981
Media Release • 21 Apr 15

Ryan Trecartin: Re’Search Wait’S

American video and multimedia artist Ryan Trecartin will present his first major Australian exhibition at the NGV this May. From his work being a highlight of the 2013 Venice Biennale, to co-curating New York’s New Museum Triennial this year to great acclaim, Trecartin is seen as a major artistic figure of the post-internet age. An immersive theatrette resembling an uber-real teenage lounge room will be created where guests will be enveloped into Trecartin’s world through a rolling display of his frenetically paced films.

‘Ryan Trecartin is recognised as one of the most inventive and exciting young artists working today and his work is renowned for its intersection of art and the internet,’ said Tony Ellwood, Director, NGV. ‘After exciting turns at the Venice Biennale and New York’s New Museum, the NGV is delighted to be hosting Trecartin’s first solo Australian exhibition and housing his first major Australian acquisition.’

Re’Search Wait’S is a quartet of Trecartin’s films from 2009–10, comprising Ready, The Re’Search, Roamie View: History Enhancement and Temp Stop which together form an immersive and visceral essay on consumerism and identity, played out in a twisted milieu of excess and narcissism.

The films depict a procession of unhinged teenagers, whose narcissistic, neurotic and slightly demented but very contemporary lives unfold before us in glorious excess. They involve multi-linear narratives set within a complicated industry predicated on the power of metaphysically evolved market research, where the base commodities are personality traits. Characters are wrapped in knots as their every action is studied, the findings dictating the brands that pilot everything they do.

Unique in their conception and depiction, the films feature overwrought and overstimulated narratives symbolic of contemporary pop, consumer and online cultures. Informed by reality television shows, MTV, personal webcams, karaoke and internet-based vlogs (video-blogs), and edited at a frenetic pace, which characterises the multi-sensory density of internet and screen experience, the work offers a wild and confronting exploration of identity in the post-internet age.

The films will be displayed in the newly acquired ‘sculptural theatre’ Available Sync, 2011, by Trecartin and long-time collaborator Lizzie Fitch, a collaboration that has remained central to Trecartin’s practice since they were first-year students of Rhode Island School of Design in 2001. Available Sync, 2011 is a major installation of generic IKEA furniture arranged to create a viewing space that resembles a teenager’s lounge room. The presentation of Available Sync marks the first time an Australian institution has acquired or displayed one of these unique theatrette environments.

The acquisition of Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch, Re’Search Wait’S is generously supported by the Loti and Victor Smorgon Fund.

“To put it simply, [Ryan] Trecartin … is the most consequential artist to have emerged since the 1980s.”
Peter Schjeldahl, New Yorker

Trecartin rose to prominence directing video works featuring a post-1980s generation of actors revelling in the zeitgeist of pop culture, as originating from the post-internet culture of California, USA. He garnered attention for his art school graduation piece he wrote, directed, filmed and performed in, with the assistance of Lizzie Fitch, A Family Finds Entertainment, 2004. The piece was included in the 2006 Whitney Biennial after it was released online and was widely lauded. The work, like most of his scripted films, features a family, extended through tight-knit friendships which are at once close and hostile. Trecartin’s works feature these young people, careering around at a speed which references the ways in which the young graze content on the internet; they are films of excess, gossip, confessionals and exhibitionism.

Trecartin has collaborated with Lizzie Fitch since they were first-year students of Rhode Island School of Design in 2001, where he majored in film/animation/video, and she majored in painting. The artists maintain a shared production studio, and have worked together on Trecartin’s films, and since 2007, on the creation of unique ‘sculptural theatres’ designed to house them.

The Work of Ryan Trecartin
Sat 16 May, 11.45am
Join Simon Maidment, Curator of Contemporary Art as he explores the new acquisition by Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin, Available sync, 2011.
Cost Free
Venue Exhibition space