Ryan Trecartin

born 1981 in USA,
lives and works in USA.

Ryan Trecartin is one of the most intriguing filmmakers and visual artists of the young generation. He rose to acclaim for his innovative approach to film narration and for his collective production practices and DIY ethos reminiscent of works of avant-garde icons like Jack Smith, Matthew Barney or John Waters. He posted his first films on internet video hosting sites like YouTube and Vimeo.

Currently, he creates theatrical hyperrealistic installations in which set design intermingles with storytelling. Trecartin shoots all of his footage at night with an amateur cast. The actors often improvise the scenes on the basis of a vague script.

The artist’s works are an examination of interpersonal communication in the era of information overload. In a provocative way, they attempt to reflect on the performative dimension of identities shaped online and on the limited attention spans which dictate the form of online content.

The over-stylised effect-laden video installation “Trill-ogy: Comp” combines aspects of corporate aesthetics, amateur films shot on smartphones and criticism of global consumption. Each film references the other parts of the trilogy and the viewer can become an active element of the installation by putting on headphones and sitting down at a conference table with replica Eames chairs, on a park bench or in Lufthansa-branded airplane seats.

Trecartin often plays the part of the protagonist in his works, as, for instance, in “Sibling Topics,” where he plays four sisters whose names refer to a popular line of computer software. In Trecartin’s films, identity is an object of constant negotiation, manipulation and marketing, demonstrating how today’s fluid perception of the self changes depending on the scene and the audience. 

Show description