From the Guggenheim:
Ryan McNamara’s “Fleshcore” is a video work that visualizes the spatial and temporal separation among individuals during this time of crisis.
In honor of Pride, Works and Process will premiere newly commissioned video performances from June 20–29, highlighting creative expressions by LGBTQ+ artists.
Artist note: “Every morning I take a blue oblong pill. It’s an antiviral medication that protects me from a virus I have feared my whole life. The virus has a taste for intravenous penetration. Now I am separated from my people because of a new virus that thrives on surfaces and floats across the air we breathe. The actions I learned for one I have to relearn or unlearn for the other. I have a touch anxiety.
For this video, I worked with nine performers who are currently scattered across the globe. These are people I’ve worked with for over a decade. It was a nice way to check in with extended family during quarantine. I rehearsed with each of them for three hours via FaceTime. The choreography involves the performers touching their own body. This project expanded my ideas of self-touch, for example, becoming aware of the touch that occurs via blinking, my upper lid briefly making contact with my lower lid. By layering the footage, I could have the performers touch each other, if only on your monitor. The screen becomes a petri dish of forbidden connection.
I created a new musical score, mixing in samples of the song that plays when you’re on hold with the New York Department of Labor Unemployment Contact Line, a song that hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers have listened to for hours during the pandemic (myself included)."