Phantasia (Performance Study #1), 2017

Ryan Brewer’s Phantasia: Performance Study #1 combines found footage (Walt Disney Pictures movie intro and “The Rich Man’s Frug,” an epic dance number from the screen adaptation of the musical “Sweet Charity,” 1969), and found music (Radiohead’s 2003 “There, There” instrumental cover by the Israel Jazz Orchestra, 2009) to re-imagine a form of multimedia synesthesia originally envisioned by Walt Disney in his now-classic “Fantasia” (1940). This Phantasia, however, depicts decadence, gender difference, and social hierarchy as an ambivalently celebratory omen for things to come and things already long-gone, phantoms. This is the first video piece from an ongoing body of work in sculpture and performance that points to the transformation of civilization through fantastic decline, or decadent undoing, as evidenced in audiovisual artifacts, fantasy architecture, and “luxury” objects.

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