15 May - 24 Jun 2012
Renowned American multimedia artist Tony Oursler (b. 1957) is primarily known for his original and innovative combinations of video, sculpture and performance. Oursler has freed the moving image from the box and is known for projecting onto all manner of objects, altering the relationship between moving image and sculpture. A recurrent theme in Oursler’s work is the complex relationship between mankind and technology. His solo exhibition at Contemporary by Angela Li will present a diverse mixture of works, including new micro installations and paintings with moving image, as well as three major works from his now iconic Super Pop series.
Oursler’s solo exhibition is comprised of three parts. The first part of the exhibition is Oursler’s new series of micro installations, which unfold complex miniature worlds populated by tiny figures who address each other and the viewer. The combination of Oursler’s characters, animations, performances and texts and his elaborate editing structures forms interlocking internal relationships within richly detailed sculptural microcosms. In a new mixture of formal approaches Oursler plays with materials, motion and light, in a scale made possible with tiny new video projection technology. In Pyrite (Murphy’s Law), projected characters suspended in sculpture or trapped in glass orbs engage one another in their own miniature universe.
These themes of complex human relationships are carried into Oursler’s paintings with imbedded moving images, and conceptually complement the micro installations both thematically and graphically. They explore and question the transition of pictorial identity from portrait to computer-based facial recognition systems.
The third segment of the exhibition represents Oursler’s Super Pop series, which began in 2002. The artist sees this series as being created in relation to the reductivist depiction of the human form, beginning with stone fertility goddesses and extending through caricature, the smiley face, special effects and on to avatars. Cosmic Cloud murmurs from a nebulous form made of disparate facial elements and a swath of stars.