Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin Satirize Visitors at Andrea Rosen Opening

The joke's on you!

Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin at Andrea Rosen Gallery. Photo: Courtesy of the artists and Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

Presenting new film-based works in immersive video environments, Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin‘s solo show at New York’s Andrea Rosen Gallery, their first since the duo joined her roster in 2012, opened March 22.

If there is one thing that can be expected from Fitch and Trecartin, it is the unexpected. The collaborative production methods employed by the long-time creative partners always result in unusual results, as the multitude of inputs results in a multitude of artistic outputs.

Fusing architectural and video installations into “sculptural theaters,” Fitch and Trecartin have transformed Andrea Rosen Gallery’s expansive Chelsea space into a labyrinth of enclaves; each screening the artists’ new video-based works.

Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin at Andrea Rosen Gallery. Photo: Courtesy of the artists and Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin at Andrea Rosen Gallery.
Photo: Courtesy of the artists and Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

Throughout the gallery, Fitch and Trecartin have constructed four separate environments, each containing different, dimly-lit outdoor-themed settings—reminiscent of a psychedelic camping trip.

The refreshing presentation subverts the traditional white cube gallery format, whilst the darkened hallways and rooms are more reminiscent of a Berlin techno club than an upmarket Chelsea art gallery.

One of the enclaves features a platform constructed out of pinewood planks that resembles a lakeside dock, complete with camping furniture.

Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin at Andrea Rosen Gallery. Photo: Courtesy of the artists and Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin at Andrea Rosen Gallery.
Photo: Courtesy of the artists and Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

The outdoors theme recurs throughout the show. Next door, the artists constructed an environment resembling a fishing boat, outfitted with chrome railings and upholstered seating. Elsewhere, visitors can sit on faux-boulders carved from large chunks of foam.

In terms of content, the videos explore the multifaceted role of identity in contemporary culture, and are closely aligned to Fitch and Trecartin’s recurring exploration of the themes of youth culture, sexual ambiguity, the role of gender in society, and evaluation of the self.

The films star cross-dressing, wig-clad characters wearing unnaturally-colored novelty contact lenses, roaming around and engaging in an array of off-beat and oddball activities.

Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin at Andrea Rosen Gallery. Photo: Courtesy of the artists and Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin at Andrea Rosen Gallery.
Photo: Courtesy of the artists and Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

The resemblance of some of the opening night gallery visitors to the characters on screen gave the impression that the subjects of the films had stepped out of the artworks to mingle with guests; breaking down boundaries and blurring the lines between fiction and reality, and creating a weird congruity between the art and its environment.

As a result, fallery visitors almost become an extension of the artworks on display, and unintentionally became part of Fitch and Trecartin’s satirization of youth culture—or perhaps this is precisely what the artists intended.

Lizzie Fitch / Ryan Trecartin” is on view at Andrea Rosen Gallery, 525 W 24th Street, New York, March 22–April 20, 2016.


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