Riotous video artist Ryan Trecartin to take over MOCA Pacific Design Center this summer
He's baaaack. The demonically funny video artist Ryan Trecartin, who made his art-world debut just four years ago in Los Angeles and has since been hailed by everyone from Dennis Cooper to Holland Cotter as quite possibly the most riotously talented artist of the YouTube generation, is taking over MOCA's Pacific Design Center location this summer.
(And, yes, Trecartin has own YouTube page, here.)
According to Trecartin's gallerist, Elizabeth Dee, "Any Ever" will consist of seven interconnected (I first typed "interdemented" by mistake) videos made by the artist over the last three years, in which he appears along with Lizzie Fitch and sundry other collaborators.
Although a few of these pieces have been screened before, they have not been shown as a group until this year -- in an exhibition at the Power Plant in Toronto that closes this week.
Toronto critic David Balzer, who, like everyone else, sounds befuddled by Trecartin's anarchic plots and ADHD characters, calls his work "a terrifying, often hilarious plunge into the K-hole of digital self-fashioning." He writes that the show energized, even polarized, the art scene there: "Love it or hate it, it's a must-see."
The installation will take a different form at MOCA's PDC branch, including a new ambient soundtrack, and will fill both levels. "You won't recognize the PDC once you enter," says Dee, who has worked closely with Trecartin since giving him his art-world debut when she co-owned a gallery in Culver City.
The MOCA show grew out of her conversations with incoming director Jeffrey Deitch, who starts on the job June 1. "Jeffrey has been talking about the PDC as a space for video, new media and design. He was thinking about programming for that space, and the timing was perfect."
Dee says she has known Deitch for 15 years, as he was "one of the first people to come to my gallery when I first started." The two had never, however, worked together on a project before "for geographic regions -- because he was a fellow gallerist in New York, the opportunity didn't come up."
Slated to run mid-July through mid-October, "Any Ever" will be MOCA's second exhibition under Deitch's leadership. The first, a survey of the artwork of actor Dennis Hopper, promises to trample the classic divide between art and entertainment in other ways.
After the Los Angeles show, Trecartin's video suite moves on to the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami. In 2011, it will figure into larger shows planned on the artist by MoMA/PS1 in New York and the Musée d'Art Moderne in Paris.
Meanwhile, word is that Trecartin and his collaborators are planning to move from Philadelphia to Los Angeles sometime this summer. Neighbors who like their peace and quiet, beware.
-- Jori Finkel
Image: Still from "Sibling Rivalry" (Section A), 2009, HD Video, 50 minutes. Credit: Ryan Trecartin and Elizabeth Dee
You can follow the writer on Twitter: @jorifinkel.