Generally, I don’t like to believe the hype. I like to formulate my own opinions on things. Which is possibly why I feel so blown away by Ryan Trecartin‘s exhibit “Trill-ogy Comp” currently running at Center Galleries inside of the College for Creative Studies. Thirty-year-old Trecartin shows work all over the world and is considered one of the most exciting visual artists working today. “The New York Times” and a multitude of other media sources tracked his movements at Art Basel in Miami last week, while a diamond-studded crowd dined at a fundraiser benefiting Center Galleries and celebrating the opening of his show in Detroit on Friday. In layman’s terms, Trecartin is a big deal with a body of work that lives up to what the media is reporting.
“Trill-ogy Comp,” made in 2009 and spanning 129 minutes, is one half of the artist’s seven-movie diptych titled “Any Ever.” All seven of the films in “Any Ever” have separate but interrelated stories that “attempt to literalize to the point of abstraction.” The pieces featured in the show at Center Galleries are edited in such a way that the sounds of the characters words blur into a mesmerizing sound or rhythm referencing the shows title “trill” and leaving the viewer with a chaotic and overwhelming experience. In an interview for Moreintelligentlife.com Trecartin comments, “ Yes, time is altered to enhance and encourage felt experience. The timing is manipulated to take the viewer into the piece, enhancing a more ride-like digestion of the story, making the act of viewing a part of the piece. The timing comments on the current theme being experienced and explored in the current scene. It all depends on what moment of the piece you happen to be watching. And maybe the timing is a character that evolves and has it’s own “plot personality.” “K-Corea INC.K (Section A),” one of the three films showing, is a scalding critique of the consumerist and social climbing world that we live in without being obvious. A running theme in his work, Trecartin explains, “We don’t act inside or outside of consumer culture, entertainment or art culture, we consume and translate, we’re a by-product of it.” “K-Corea INC.K (Section A)” is an expose on the silly and meaningless worlds of Facebook updates and social empowerment conferences with a dash of pop culture and mainstream conglomerations. A diverse cast of characters is made homogenous with blond wigs, powered faces and business casual dress. They babble on about Blackberries, globalization, meetings, singles weekends and the love of their jobs. Setting people who look different on fire and destroying rooms filled with Ikea lamps, drawing parallels to the over-designed objects of our desire that are manufactured to be disposable.
Watching Trecartins films is like multitasking while at a rock show, and if you can get through that you can put together a very poignant message that is both absurd and relevant. I would assume that everyone will walk away with different opinions of this show but it sent me on an existential crisis (in the most refreshing way) questioning the way we live and the way we assign value. I would like to thank Center Galleries and the College for Creative Studies, Fitch Trecartin Studios and the Elizabeth Dee Gallery for facilitating this show. I would also like to thank Trecartin for being brave enough to have an opinion. “Trill-ogy Comp” runs until Dec. 17 at the Center Galleries inside of the Manoogian Visual Resources Building at the College for Creative Studies at 301 Frederick Douglass Ave., Detroit, Mich. 48202. It may not be appropriate for all audiences. Gallery hours for this exhibition are Monday, Dec. 12 through Saturday, Dec. 17, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.