This is an archive of the ArtCat Zine, 2007-2009. Please visit our new project, IDIOM.

Ryan Trecartin at the New Museum, this Weekend and Next

Ryan Trecartin, still image from "I-Be AREA"
Ryan Treceartin, I-Be AREA, 2007, cropped still image from digital video,
1 hour and 48 minutes.

Ryan Trecartin
New Museum - 235 Bowery, New York NY
3pm, 8 December 2007
$Museum Admission ($12)

Nowadays: A Conversation and Screening with Ryan Trecartin
New Museum - 235 Bowery, New York NY
7pm, 14 Decembet 2007

After the sort of critical reception Ryan Trecartin received this fall when he presented his new feature-length experimental video I-Be AREA at Elizabeth Dee Gallery in Chelsea (along with a room of some less remarkable installations that may have once had previous lives as set props) it isn't surprising that the New Museum has asked the young artist to come and show his work to New York audiences again, this time at the museum's new Bowery location. This Saturday the New Museum screens I-Be AREA, offering a chance for viewers to see the work in a more cinematic setting than last season's gallery installation. Next Friday, 14 December, other Trecartin videos and excerpts will be screened with the filmmaker and Rhizome director Lauren Cornell in tow to help lead the discussion with Trecartin on his own practice and work.

Since Dennis Cooper wrote on the artist's popular A Family Finds Entertainment in Artforum's January 2006 issue, many critics have been echoing Cooper's comparisons of Trecartin to the likes of George Kuchar, Kenneth Anger, and Jack Smith. The more interesting thing about Trecartin though, is that he taps into a sort of late 20th century milieu of having come of age on the nascent social platforms of the Internet. His negotiations with the culture of constant virtual presence and a mandatory system of self-representation (quickly moving towards a system of self-presentation) constitute much of the artist's conceptual heft. And as a kid who grew up online, so far Trecartn has practiced the distribution of his work (a crucial component of any media artist's practice) as a natural extension of where his interests and legacy lie: YouTube, of course, where nearly his entire video oeuvre still remains freely available for low-res streaming (and, to be fair, official and exhibition copies are distributed by Electronic Arts Intermix). I-Be AREA, the artist's longest work to date — and a kind of mature and natural successor to A Family... — is his first video that, judging by its limited-edition status and the fact that the distribution is controlled exclusively by Trecartin's gallery, won't be appearing on the artist's YouTube account any time soon; all the more reason, one imagines, to catch it at the New Museum.