Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin are among the most acclaimed artists working today. Known for maniacally-paced films combining color, sound, character and computer effects, they have been called video art visionaries. The two artists met in 2000 at the Rhode Island School of Design and have been collaborators for the past 14 years. In 2006, at the age of 26, Trecartin became the youngest artist included in the Whitney Biennial; since then the duo has presented solo exhibitions at MoMA PS1 as well as at the 2015 Venice Biennale.
What they do: The artists explore how cameras, social media, and reality TV have changed the way we engage with the world and with one another. Their videos are made up of props, sets and digital effects they invent themselves. There is no plot, and their characters live in a post-gender, post-racial world, taking on various identities, sexualities, genders, and races. A character can be many people at the same time, shot in offbeat environments created by the artists. Trecartin works with a regular group of collaborators who are free to improvise.
How Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid Became Humanoid Creatures for W
Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid wear Louis Vuitton dresses and sandals; the Murphy Maxwell FTS Cartoonification mouth grill. Lauren Devine wears T by Alexander Wang bodysuit shirt; Hood by Air Atelier acrylic master lock collar; Plain Hats hat; prosthetic nose from Naimie’s Beauty Center; makeup artist’s own prosthetic ears. Telfar “Customer” logo on Phantom quadcopter.
Hadid beauty: Maybelline Dream Velvet Foundation in Sandy Beige, Brow Drama Pomade Crayon in Blonde, the Falsies Push Up Angel Washable Mascara in Very Black, Color Tattoo Eye Chrome in Bronze Sheen, Facestudio Master Contour V-Shape Duo Stick in Light, Master Strobing Stick Illuminating Highlighter in Light-Iridescent, Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm in Quenched.
Jenner beauty: Estée Lauder Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Makeup in 3.5, the Brow Multi-Tasker in Dark Brunette, Pure Color Envy Defining EyeShadow Wet/Dry in Brash Bronze, Sumptuous Knockout Defining Lift and Fan Mascara in Black, Bronze Goddess Powder Bronzer in Light, Bronze Goddess Summer Glow Illuminator, Pure Color Envy Blooming Lip Balm.
rehearsal pace, 2016
FTS human-hamster water bottle.
floater costs, 2016
Clockwise, from left: Kendall Jenner wears Eres bikini; Hood by Air lace-lock button up and puffer scarf; Philipp Plein pants; Alexander Wang bag; Louis Vuitton boots; prosthetic nose from Naimie’s Beauty Center (throughout). Gigi Hadid wears Hood by Air Atelier harness; Onia swimsuit top; Hood by Air monster trousers; Louis Vuitton boots; prosthetic nose from Naimie’s Beauty Center (throughout); makeup artist’s own prosthetic ears (throughout). Jesse Hoffman wears T-shirt from Ohio; his own Janiva Ellis dress; his own glasses.
under said, 2016
Clockwise, from left: Hadid wears Telfar top and jeans. Lauren Devine wears Telfar “Customer” T-shirt; Fendi shorts; artists’ own hat. Jenner wears Telfar shirt and shorts; TASI Designs for FTS Solo cup earrings. All glasses from Target. Hair by Recine for Rodin; makeup and special effects makeup by Sammy Mourabit for Make Up for Ever; manicures by Marisa Carmichael for Formula X at Streeters.
pitch flare, 2016
From left: Hoffman wears T-shirt from Ohio; his own Janiva Ellis dress; his own hand-painted shoes. Jenner wears Marni jacket; DKNY Pure track pants; Rosamosario plastic bralette; American Apparel bra (underneath); MSGM bag; Darkfin gloves; FTS skid rim pigtail trucker hat from the movie Mark Trade. Hadid wears Jonathan Simkhai sports bra; Bally pants; 69 hat; Eddie Borgo choker; Darkfin gloves.
open horse, 2016
Jenner wears Moschino bikini; Escada Sport jacket; Versace pants; Corona Collection hat; Christopher Kane bag.
captcha off, 2016
Hadid wears Emilio Pucci jacket and bodysuit; Prada shorts; Louis Vuitton boots. On animated figures: Evolve underwear (on head); other clothing from Ohio. In hands (right): TASI Designs antler necklace.
Performance Actors: Jesse Hoffman and Lauren Devine; Puppy: @Sachi_Does_Hollywood; Fitch Trecartin Studio: Sean Grattan, Sergio Pastor; FTS Director of Special Projects: Isabel Venero; Project Manager: Simone Manwarring; FTS PostProduction: Lola Sinreich; FTS Custom 3-D Modeling: Rhett LaRue; FTS Custom Prop Design: Nick Rodrigues, Charles Mathis; FTS makeup artist and stylist for Hoffman: Janiva Ellis; FTS Fashion Whisperer and stylist: Lauren Devine; On-Set Production by Rosco Production; Digital Technician: Charley Parden; Photography Assistants: James Schieberl, Michel Andreo, Sean Bonilla; on-set retoucher: eliabeth mooney; Fashion Assistants: Diana Choi, Elyse Lightner; Hair Assistant: Shingo Shibata; Makeup Assistant: Valerie Vonprisk; Sound Technician: Harlow Price; Cinematography: Alex Gvojic and Rory Mulhere at Capture This; Ohio Shoppers: Raul de Nieves, Liz Rywelski, Mary Ann Heagerty, Lindsay Beebe; Special Thanks to Smashbox Studios; capture this; TELFAR; Hood by Air; TASI; Jeremiah Thies; Ellen Greenberg; Sprueth Magers; Regen Projects, Los Angeles; Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York.
The project for W: In this project for W’s Art Issue, titled “placebo pets,” supermodels Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid appear as super friendly, domesticated humanoid pets. The idea grew out of the artists wondering: “Who would survive if a superior alien humanoid species came to Earth?” Their answer: “The friendliest.” Fitch and Trecartin see in our relationship to pets a parallel with our relationship to technology, in the way that we’ve been trained to adapt our behavior, our language, and the images we choose to present our changing selves. “There’s a certain power that animals have over us when they respond to us in unexpected, friendly ways,” says Trecartin. “And it’s really them domesticating us almost more than us domesticating them, because they’re training us to want them. Training and taming something is not one-sided. We created social media, but then it changed us because we interacted with it. It transforms us and transforms the next thing that happens just by existing. You can’t really avoid being trained.”
Fitch and Trecartin were also intrigued by the friendship between Jenner and Hadid, and the way their identities have morphed into a combined idea of friendship, known as “KenGi.” The millennial offspring of reality-TV momagers literally grew up onscreen — Jenner beginning at 11 in the Kardashian family saga, Hadid as a toddler in Baby Guess ads. “It’s both a friendship and a public commodity to be consumed,” says Fitch.
Watch “placebo pets”, an original project for W by artists Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin: