Monday, March 11, 2024

THE RITA - Correlations

THE RITA - Correlations

Credited as one of the pioneers of ‘harsh noise wall’; influential artist Sam McKinlay (b. 1974, CA)  has been operating under the alias The Rita for over 25 years. Having performed extensively  and credited with over 200 releases, the project has grown into a laser focused multidisciplinary venture and is celebrated for pushing the boundaries of ‘harsh noise’.

Accompanying The Rita’s singular and often unpredictable sonic output is an inseparable and distinct visual language. By combining McKinlay’s fine arts education, research, experimentation, and collaboration; the project visually and texturally unites the artist’s interests in minimalist design, noise, ballet, sharks, choreography, and film.

‘Correlations’ presents some of the images and documents McKinlay finds most definitive in his practice. The monograph is designed to provide a cohesive understanding of the artist’s creative trajectory, as well as illuminate The Rita’s uncanny process that visually, conceptually, and historically ‘connects’ seemingly unrelated subjects.

Published by Amaya Productions and curated by Andrea Stillacci; the monograph includes essays by the art historian and Centre Pompidou curator Nicolas Ballet (‘Shock Factory: The Visual Culture of Industrial Music’), associate Professor and harsh noise artist Lexi Turner (Cornell University), and author, writer, producer Kier-La Janisse (‘House of Psychotic Women’).

‘Correlations’ is 9.5” x 12.25”, 200 pages, full color offset, edge painted ‘ballerina pink’, hardcover wrap with debossed cover text. Printed by Graphius (Gent, BELG).

ISBN: 9798218294854

See AMAYA PRODUCTIONS for ordering information. 

See SCREAM & WRITHE for Canadian Orders. 

Overseas distributors TBA.

‘Not long ago, when Sam McKinlay was telling me about the production of this book getting underway, he told me that he considered ‘The Rita: Anatomical Charisma’ (the small art book published by Amphetamine Sulphate in 2019), to be his greatest artistic work to date. This didn’t surprise me, and I’d wager that he also felt the same way about his film ‘Choreography To Cracked Linear Textural Sound’ upon its release the year prior, as both of these visual statements channel the essence of McKinlay’s work as The Rita. The film can be seen as the epitome of the project on a certain artistic level (the title says it all), and the notated images within the book enable the observer to directly trace the lines (make correlations) between what may have seemed like disparate images at first glance: women in ballet pointe shoes and stage makeup, female shark attack victims, horror film stills, etc. These images that have adorned The Rita’s album covers and inserts have likely often been misinterpreted, or taken only at their most base or superficial levels (that of certain obsession, fetish, violence, gaze, etc.), but ‘The Rita: Correlations’ allows McKinlay to show us that the lines and angles, cut and magnified sections of bodies, scenes and forms within these images are all interconnected, exist with intent and have a profound meaning for him and his art. Instead of laying it out plainly, ‘Correlations’ sees the majority of annotation found in the previous publication stripped away, leaving the images to be studied both on their own and alongside their correlated counterparts. By isolating and arranging the images in this manner the visual content becomes elevated by means of abstraction (as Kier-La Janisse furthers in her essay within). Yet saying that the work is elevated only by this abstraction is not fully accurate: It has been elevated since inception and McKinlay has been showing us these correlations for years. Now we can see them with a little more clarity.’ – Taylor Geddes