In Ryan MacDonald’s stories, most no more than a page in length, we are given glimpses of a father and daughter at the zoo; an isolated man lamenting the absence of TV in his life; two young men atop a fridge at a party, drinking wine. These are stories of marriage and family, of the oddities of the natural world, of college parties, of web-cams and media obsession.
As MacDonald says, “I think what I’m after in the stories as well as in the video work is finding an experiential moment, nothing really stable, something pleasantly unstable, or uncomfortable . . . purposefully pleasant uncomfortable instability with moments of tenderness and definitely humor. Certainly nothing concrete, unless it needs that. A certain fear of and respect for banality. I’m after a good time, which can often turn into a really bad time, but either way, one we’ll remember forever.”
Despite the range of circumstances they reveal, these stories are unified by a brightness of vision, deft observation, and consistently sharp, funny, and unbridled language.