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29 Jun 2009

Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch outdoor installation at the Rose Art Museum

© Image: Aboutthing (in the air), 2009 (detail).
Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch.
image courtesy Rose Art Museum

The Aboutthing (in the air), 2009, by Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch


In place now until it disintegrates outside the Rose Art Museum.


Rose Art Museum
Brandeis University
415 South Street
Waltham, MA 02453

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The Rose Art Museum presents the first showing of artists Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch in the Boston area with the sculptural installation, The Aboutthing (in the air), 2009.

Outgoing Rose Director Michael Rush says of the outdoor installation: 'I have wanted to present Ryan Trecartin's work for several years now. He is one of the leading voices in avant-garde video and film work. This sculptural project with his longtime collaborator Lizzie Fitch presented itself as the perfect homage to experimentation which has characterized the Rose throughout its history.'

The Aboutthing (in the air) is a multi-part installation featuring a plastic swimming pool loaded with rubber-made body parts, plastic containers, a totemic structure fashioned from plastic containers, bags, pillows and a 'viewing platform' featuring a decaying couch on a wooden pedestal. The work is inspired by the Great Pacific Garbage Patch or Plastic Island, an area of the North Pacific in which plastic and other debris are trapped by the currents of the North Pacific Gyre.

Regarding their sculptural work, Trecartin and Fitch say: 'Rendering figures in three dimensions necessarily sets up conversations about the body, identity, the experience of being in a place and the process of interfacing with the world; briefly, it invokes the relationship between identity and narrative. We're particularly interested in the ways that people have found to make their three-dimensional identities--their bodies, but also all of the expressive materials they interface with--increasingly fluid and storied.'

Multiple narratives are clearly indicated in The Aboutthing (in the air) but the evident attention to everyday detritus is historically linked to the newspaper scraps affixed to canvasses by Picasso and Braque; Rauschenberg's combines, and the current practice of 'abject' sculpture represented by, among other, Jessica Stockholder, Rachel Harrison, and Isa Genzken.

The Aboutthing (in the air) is now on view in the Rose's Sculpture Garden to the left of the museum's front entrance on the Brandeis campus. According to the artists' wishes it is intended to remain in place until it disintegrates, which will likely take several months.

The Rose's galleries are currently closed awaiting a decision about the future of the museum subsequent to the University's January 26, 2009 announcement of the museum's closing. An exhibition of some works from the permanent collection will open on July 22.

Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch have been exhibiting since 2004, the year they both graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design. Their work has been shown in New York, Milan, Zurich, Karlsruhe, New Orleans and many other cities. Trecartin's videos have been shown internationally including at the 2006 Whitney Biennial and currently in The Generational: Younger Than Jesus at the New Museum, New York.