CENTER JENNY is one of four movies to date completed in 2013 by Trecartin, first shown as a work in progress at the Arsenale of the the Venice Biennale. Since settling in Los Angeles in 2010, Fitch and Trecartin have designed and built a modular maze of sets on a soundstage with the help of Hollywood technicians who have rigged the space with lights and hydraulics enabling it to move and change for different projects.
One of the first works shot here is CENTER JENNY, which, as such, continues to explore the fusion of dramatic and sculptural spaces that activate one another during the filming of their movies. The cast ranges from collaborators familiar with previous works dating as far back as to A Family Finds Entertainment (2004) to professional actors from popular television sitcoms. Most belong to one of several groups of uniformed girls who are all named Jenny. One duo of Jennys wears earmuffs and pink hoodies branded "AUDITION;" another posse dons khaki shorts and tank tops covering up greenscreen-green bikinis; other, grittier girls are in sweats that read "W4$T3;" a more womanly group in neutral tones identify themselves as nameless proto-Jenny's, held in limbo as they wait for character assignments.
The various Jenny's belong to a caste system in which iterations of the same, basic, archetypal girl differentiate themselves from one another based on how powerfully they have evolved. The notion of being "basic," in fact, is a flattering condemnation the girls hurl back and forth at one another. There is a quantitative basis for self-actualization here, and, as if in a video game or any other kind of entertainment simulation, a level-based logic propels the Jennys as they graduate from nothing—"I don't have a name yet, we're not even on a level"— to level one, to level two, and beyond. This guides the plot as well, which shifts abruptly from one vignette to the next in an arc that escalates without concern for scenes that have been surpassed by evolved ones. The group dynamic recalls previous works like K-Corea.Inc.K, in which a mass of characters in tan business attire arbitrarily compose a sort of model UN of delegates from around the world—USA Korea, Brazil Korea, Canada Korea, etc. However in CENTER JENNY, instead of a superficial heterogeneity spread across the group as a global microcosm, everyone is striving to be as similar as possible. Rather, everyone is mimicking an ideal, and the result among the successful ones is sameness.
This ideal has a name, "the source," and one group of Jennys regard its influence as a kind of Icarus drive, ominously cautioning one girl that is she continues in her ways she "might end up in touch with the source." As the title of the movie might imply, proximity to center is an absolute measure of potency. The possibility of being close enough to touch "the source," runs the risk of being consumed by the powers that that shape the world they live in. But any remove from the center connotes vulnerability. Gatekeeper Jennys brand underlings "left of center"—a designation that others wear proudly, seemingly for alternative positions along this otherwise oppressive, concentric continuum.
One girl, then another, declares herself Sarah Source— a direct descendent of the humanity all the other vessels idolize. Whether either is truly Sarah Source is as unclear as whether any of the people in the movie are people at all, or if they are post-human simulations emulating constructions of personality and community mythologized as a source code for social behavior.
-- Kevin McGarry
Written, Directed, FX'd & Edited by Ryan Trecartin. This work was originally created for the 55th International Art Exhibition entitled: Il Palazzo Enciclopedico (The Encyclopedic Palace). Curated by Massimiliano Gioni. Organized by la Biennale di Venezia.
Basic Jenny: Rachel Lord, Sara Source: Rene Plaza & Solomon Chase, Monika Nark: Aubrey Plaza and David Toro, Stunt Stylist Jenny: Molly Tarlov and Telfar Clemens, Mark Trade (host): Murphy Maxwell, Kyle: Akeem Smith, Teacher: Lee Kyle. Voice-over Stuckjenny; 2230Hill 4/25/2013; Natural Car Stuck Event; Audio Grab via Kevin McGarry. Audition Jenny: Jillian Allexander, Audition Jenny: Annakim Violette, Animation Horse: Annakim's Horse Nala, Basic Voicemail: Jeff Baij.
In order of appearance and sometimes alphabetical: Van Watch1: Solomon Chase, Van Watch2: David Toro, Sign Spinn3r: Jeremy White. Parketual Josh Arrangements: Josh Hill, Ryan Houchin, Jesse Peveril. Storytelling Crew Cut: Lizzie Fitch, Josh Hill, Murphy Maxwell, Sergio Pastor, Nick Rodrigues, Lola Sinreich, Ryan Trecartin, Anthony Valdez. Waste Girls; Riot Gear Jennys. - Camera: Tatiana Marie Valentin. Riot Gear Jennys: Allison Byrnes, Nathalie Love, Patia Bless Williams. Waste Girls; Blair Witch Bull Shit Jennys. Ruth Gruca-(camera). Boychild: Witness Jenny; University Ride (hazer): Lee Kyle,Man Watch (camera): Aaron Brown, Audit Jenny: Tierney Finstar, Jennyplex, Stunt Stage Jenny, Black Solo Cup; Audit Jenny, Stunt Plaid Jenny: Jackie Mason. 5H3LL4: Sarah Ball, 4MB3R: Ouida Angelica Biddle; Access Jenny Concept Audit Babes; F0R4Y: Xavier Cha, TR4C3: Caitlin McBride, 5H4T1Z4R: Abdi Taslimi. Safari Bitches Cam: Lizzie Fitch .Hi8, Rhett LaRue .3D, Anthony Valdez .HD; Ryan Trecartin: .Window Direct .HD. Study Dancer: Kupono Aweau, Safari Story: Renata Raksha, Audition Jenny: Nick Rodrigues; Boychild-Style List By Story; Frisbee: Anthony Valdez; Tropical Market Slut call backs; 2nd Level Olympic Girl: Taryn Look, 2nd Level Shadow Girl: Murphy Maxwell, Owna Search: Allison Byrnes, 2nd Level Kim: Nathalie Love, Take Kim: Alia Shawkat, Crying Girl: Elina Dmitrieva, It Gets Better Hot Tub: Lauren Elder. Cut Witness; M Blash Witness Cam; Witness Handle: Nick Rodrigues, Witness Handle: Jeremiah Thies, Witness Direct: Ryan Trecartin, Witness Script: Anthony Valdez. Nark Vision1: Jena Malone, Nark Vision2: Galen Pherson. Bench Mark Drinks; Bob Drinks: Solomon Chase, Belong Drinks: Telfar Clemens, Tequila Drinks: Akeem Smith, Tom Drinks: David Toro. University Jenny Assignment Circle: Irinia Cocimarov, Ruth Gruca, Madeline Poole, Analisa Teachworth, Tatiana Marie Valentin; Jimmie West (bi gyme): Aaron David Ross, Pack Willis: Simon Castets; After Animation: Jesse Hoffman, Human Era Tan: Jude MC; Mia Humor: Lizzie Fitch; Human Musical: Raul De Nieves, Nark Jenny: Liz Rywelski. Sorority Jennys: Adelaide Bourbon, Jessia Gaston, Lisa Katnic, Natasha Newman-Thomas, Peggy Noland, Audrey Olsen, Liz Rywelski, Sylvia Wheeler. Host Circle: Pony: Telfar Clemens, Gridlock: Casey Jane Ellison, Tracker Rose: Jayne Goldsmith, Unison: Raul Lopez, Life: Leigha Mason, Gimmick Little: Alison K Powell, Courtesy: Akeem Smith. More Cut Witness- Witness Cam: Aaron Brown, Witness Sound: Kevin Goold, Witness Sit: Murphy Maxwell, Witness Sit & Cam: Lola Sinreich, Division Call Back: Nigora Mirkhanova; Prodigy Sorority Since Birth: Brande Bytheway Dawn, Other Sorority: Mireya Lucio, Top40 Jessica: Lauren Devine, Witness Blowout: Seth Bogard.
Production: Producers-Production Designers: Ryan Trecartin, Lizzie Fitch; Regen Projects LA, Andrea Rosen Gallery, NY; Producer: Alisa Tager, Co-Producers: FTS Studio Manager: Kat Krudy, FTS Production Manager: Lola Sinreich, Primary Camera (DP): Ryan Trecartin, Secondary Camera: Anthony Valdez, Other Cameras: M Blash, Aaron Brown, Lizzie Fitch, Rhett Larue, Murphy Maxwell, Sergia Pastor, Nick Rodrigues, Lola Sinreich. Actors with functioning camera props: Allison Byrnes, Ruth Gruca, Tierney Finstar, Mary Ann Heagerty, Taryn Look, Rachel Lord, Jena Malone, Raul De Nieves, Galen Pehrson, Renata Raksha, Tatiana Marie Valentin; Parjour Main DP: Josh Hill, Parkourist Choreography: Josh Hill, Ryan Houchin, Jesse Peveril, Sign Spinner Choreography: Jeremy White; Production Manager Coordinator: Lizzie Fitch, Camera/Tech Manager & Shoot Workflow (first): Lola Sinreich, Camera/Tech Manager & Shoot Workflow (second): Sergio Pastor, Script Supervisors: Lizzie Fitch & Anthony Valdez. Stage Equipment, Hot Tub & Lighting Workflow: Nick Rodrigues. Sound Technitian & Live Audio FXs: Kevin Goold. Set Managers: Jeremiah Theis, Nick Rodrigues. FTS Installation Manager, Location Assistant & Property Manager: Sean Grattan.
Wardrobe, Hair & Makeup: Specialty Accessories, Prop & Set Design: Lizzie Fitch/Ryan Trecartin. Lead Wardrobe & Prop Consultant, Shopper & Amazon Expert, Sweat Shirt Logos: Murphy Maxwell. Additional Outfit Contributions: Brande Bytheway, Lauren Devine, Tierney Finstar, Raul Lopez, Akeem Smith, Anthony Valdez. Primary Makeup, Hair, Prosthetics, Artist & Coordinator: Becky Brazier. Specialty Makeup & hair Artist: Rox Music. Makeup & Hair Artists: Monica Alvarezm Emily Rae Blackmun, Seth Bogart, Brande Blytheway, Andrea Cardenas, Janiva Ellis, Carlotta Gonzalez, Kaci Grinder, Murphy Maxwell, Connor Nims, Peggy Noland, Gina Ribisi, Liz Rywelski, Dawn Subhasiriwatana, Erica Urbde, Anthony Valdez, Sweet P Vaughn. Nails: Madeline Poole-MP Nails. Prop Coordinator: Emily Auble. Custom Prop Fabrication: Peggy Noland, Weaponized Razor Blade Earmuffs, Double Sided Shotgun Redbull Innoventions, Pool Table Bouncies, Stunt Sharpies. The Breakaway Solo Cup. FTS Concept Props: Ryan Trecartin. Fabrication: Ryan C. Johnson, Special Effects Props, NewRuleFX.com. Prop Handlers: Sean Grattan, Taryn Look, Sergio Pastor, Nick Rodrigues, Lola Sinreich, Jeremiah Thies. Shoppers: Emily Auble, Sean Grattan, Grace Jensen, Rhett LaRue, Mireya Lucio, Murphy Maxwell, Sergio Pastor, Lola Sinreich, Anthony Valdez.
Set Build: Set Build Director: Jeremiah Thies. Original Set Ketch UP: Sergio Pastor. Set Department Supervisor: David Offner. Set Department Coordinator: Lizzie Eggert-Atzberger. Construction Coordinator: Eric Nolfo. Accounting: Amy Davila & Libby Dostart. Construction PAs: Adrian Inchauste, Robert Waters, Normal Galeas. Master Carpenters: Amy Cano & Mike Gallagher. Set Build: Justin Bell, Wilfred Biggs, Jeff Ditto, Curt Harding, Rick Holman, Nicky Gagliarducci, Luke Gannon, Adam Hunter, Matthew John, Aaron lyons, David Luff, Brendan McDonald, Larry Morgan, Nick Rodrigues, Borja Rodrigues, Chad Sullivan, Adam Trecartin, Justin Wright, Henry Koch, Matthew John, John Gallagher. Master Electrician: Nate Pontius. Electricians: Shareka Calhoun, Sharena Calhoun, Dea Lazo, Luke Megner, Jason Moore, Christopher Roller, Steven Snider, Thomson Tran, Tiffany Williams. Scenic: Jeremy Crabtree. Assistant Scenic: James Hasworth. Scenics: Dough Johnson, Mikael Pecherkin, Rangel Mata, Kristen Burton, Kevin Valentine, Satoshi Imagawa, Fernando Diaz, Jose Garcia, Victor Balogh, Wendy Templeton. Production Consultants: Mary Pat Bentel & Gina Kwon. Work Flow Consultants: Eddie Mikasa (editing), Christian Spencer (cameras). Lighting Consultant: Heather Carson. Sound Consultant: Kent Sparling. Casting Director: Ryan Trecartin, Castin Co-Director: Leilani Music, Casting Consultants: Lizzie Fitch, Rachel Lord, Nathalie Love, Kevin McGarry, Aubrey Plaza, Miranda Siegel, Lola Sinreich. Special Thanks: Sag-Aftra. SMC: Tony Low, Catie Hacker. Food Services: Mireya Lucio. Set Maintenance: Idida Medina (Tina).
Post Production #FTS 2240hi11: 3D Modeling/Animations: Rhett LaRue, Assistant Editors: Lizzie Fitch 1st, Lola Sinreich 2nd, Anthony Valdez 3rd. Sound Syncing & Prep: Kevin Goold, Sergio Pastor. Sound File Prep: Murphy Maxwell. File Management: Sam Cormier: Programmer, FTS CLIP Organizer App. File Prep: Adriane Cloepfil, Cat Krudy & Jude MC. Sound Design & Original Music: Ryan Trecartin, featuring elements from #WTR A Lauren Devine Single-Worth the Rush (on iTunes)-produced by: Nick Weiss & Ryan Trecartin; written in collaboration with Lauren Devine; Editorial Contributions: Lizzie Fitch, Murphy Maxwell, Kevin McGarry, Recorded: 2240hi11 Studio.
Special Thanks: Mom, Dad, Brother; Cathy Burdell Adam, Kevin McGarry, Linda Norden, Isabel Venero, Shaun Caley Regen, Andrea Rosen, Travis Miller, Thymaya Payne, Danielle Krudy, Donn Zaretsky, Andrea Cashman, Heather Harmon, Karl Ljungquist, Elizabeth Nielsen, Alexis Rose, Massimilano Bigarello, Helga Christofferson, Marissa Parr, Laura Lamborghini, Julia Stoschek, Anita & Poju, Zabludowicz Collection.
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