Ready, Wait! Ryan Trecartin

Rather than authoritative descriptions, these reflections on Any Ever by writer and curator Kevin McGarry have been developed in conversation with the artist as a means to orient viewers to some of the key themes and structures of the work.

Ryan Trecartin’s Any Ever comprises seven autonomous but interrelated videos. The work is structured as a diptych, with Trill-ogy Comp (three movies) as one side and Re’Search Wait’S (four movies) as the other. Taken together, these videos embark on poetic, formal, and structural elaborations of new forms of technology, language, narrative, identity, and humanity, portraying an extra-dimensional world that channels the existential dramas of our own. Any Ever’s core material is the perpetual flux of relationships among characters patterned to form constellations of meaning across videos. In the spirit of the work, which attempts to literalize the figurative to the point of abstraction, these formations can be imagined as having geometric properties that govern their interactions. The individual videos fit together, block, break, orbit, or attract one another in infinite shifting combinations. Any Ever’s master narrative is subjectively chosen by the viewer, read from the shifting topography of its seven parts.

Up close, the dynamics between characters sometimes seem to construct a plot and sometimes don’t. Consistently, they confuse the movies’ connections to space and time, extending the condition of synesthesia from the five senses to the laws of physics. With conventional narrative unities upended, events that transpire during the videos serve only as backdated markers of possibilities. Regardless of the scripted outcomes, each of these possibilities, by definition, could have unfolded in countless other ways. “Cause and effect,” in this world, are not “start and finish,” but simply brackets around these junctures of possible action. The philosophical tenet that one becomes everything one thinks, says, and does is both immediate and absolute in the work; Any Ever’s setting is simultaneity, in which being and becoming, along with everything else, co-exist.

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