GoMA’s collection-based show 21st Century (that featured work acquired within the past decade) traded on spectacle. There were giant funslides, a room teeming with balloons and an installation involving live finches. Away from this kiddie friendly fare however, in a darkened room trimmed with chintzy red velvet curtains and an old couch lay, in Leg of Lamb’s opinion, the exhibition highlight – Ryan Trecartin’s film, A Family Finds Entertainment (2004).
The young American creates outrageous videos and posts them online on YouTube and Vimeo under the pseudonym Wian Treetin. In A Family Finds Entertainment, Trecartin and his friends appear dolled up in lurid DIY make-up and half-baked costumes improvising their way through loosely plotted scenarios at hyper-real speed. Recalling tripped out manifestations of bad television, these low-budget affairs address ‘youth culture’ through cheesy special effects, dressups and associated ‘Gen Y’ lingo as a means of reflecting upon a generation both affected and affirmed by media consumption.
21st Century: Art in the First Decade at the Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, closed today, but you can view more of Ryan Trecartin’s work online here.