IMAGINE SLASHER FILMS WITHOUT BLOOD; porn without nudity; the Sistine Chapel without God; the New York Stock Exchange without capital. Pretend that Hieronymus Bosch’s intermeshed figures could text. Ryan Trecartin’s videos depict a vertiginous world I’m barely stable enough to describe. Watching them, I face the identity-flux of Internet existence: surfing-as-dwelling. Images evaporate, bleed, spill, metamorphose, and explode. Through frenetic pacing, rapid cuts, and destabilizing overlaps between representational planes (3-D turns into 2-D and then into 5-D), Trecartin violently repositions our chakras. Digitally virtuoso, his work excites me but also causes stomach cramps. I’m somatizing. But I’m also trying to concentrate. Trecartin, born in Texas (a trace of drawl is a vocal leitmotif of his videos), broke into the art world with A Family Finds Entertainment in 2004, the year he graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design. (The art world: Does Trecartin need it?) Then, in 2006, came the seven-minute-long video (Tommy Chat Just E-mailed Me.) and the feature-length I-Be Area, both available on YouTube and UbuWeb. In the “Younger than Jesus” exhibition, at New York’s New Museum until July 5, Trecartin unveiled installments of his latest epic, composed of three interconnected, modular psychodramas: Sibling Topics (Section A), K-Corea INC. K (Section A), and Re’Search Wait’S (Edit 1: Missing Re’Search Corruption Budget), all 2009. (The videos are also on display this summer, with a larger installation, at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia.)
more from Wayne Koestenbaum at artforum here.