LIZZIE FITCH/RYAN TRECARTIN, solo presentation @ Art Rotterdam 2012, Netherlands
February 9 - 12, 2012
Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin’s collaborative sculptural practice began in the mid-2000s. The artists source items for their sculptures through analytical shopping excursions to department, design and home improvement stores. They approach shopping as an expedition for the layered linguistic values of goods, which are codified by where they are grouped in the store, how they are merchandised, and what they are called, or, literally, are. As in Trecartin’s video practice, the idea of the literal is often pushed to absurd limits as a virtual means of abstraction. Utilizing material purchases as words, Fitch and Trecartin compound them, play games with their sounds and meanings and construct them into directed strings akin to sentences. They manipulate these furnishings, tools, construction materials, articles of clothing, etc. and reconstitute them as precariously balanced tableaux. Earlier works frequently depicted human forms – elongated, stunted, or otherwise exaggerated in Mannerist fashion – while later sculptures often elide the figure itself, or substitute it, rendering a protagonist for the work through an associative sequence of formal juxtapositions that is left to the viewer to read.
Loose narratives concerning exercise, parenting, travel, shopping, and other modes of aspirations and creative expression are mediated by brands and products appropriated from the niche fringes of consumer culture (sometimes of dubious utilitarian value), mixed with ordinary items imbued with a simple purity that is derived from the fact that their forms are dictated by timeless functions. The process by which things mediate ideas in these works constitutes a conceptual frame around the sculptures which sets into view the extra-dimensional conditions of time and potentially that are essential components of reading a world that is already mediated.
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