Tony Oursler inquires with his art into how we increasingly experience the world through more or less advanced technology.
The difference between the real and the constructed, in media like TV and photography, grows smaller and smaller because the media are based on verisimilitude and have a keen ability to provoke and imitate human emotion that we instantly respond to.
DescriptionThe work consists of an antenna-like grille with an orange Perspex screen placed in front of a video projector that throws an image of a woman's face through the screen and the grille and onto a wall. The oval, slightly egg-shaped face glides continuously and at a leisurely pace across the Perspex and the wall, with one image following the other so that the ensuing result resembles a horizontal figure of eight repeated again and again.
About the work
Sferics appears as a complicated technological construction with the conspicuous TV antenna-like form and the translucent orange Perspex screen zigzagging over the grille. Only later do we discover the woman with the odd egg-shaped face who seems to be talking to herself or at least to someone we cannot see.
The woman's voice is hushed and mumbling, and her speech is disjointed. Fragments of sentences and isolated words are audible but fail to make any coherent sense.
Oursler's art in general
Oursler works with video art in an unconventional fashion. Unlike most artists he does not use screens or normal projections on a uniform surface. Instead he projects faces onto dollS, dummies and torn-off heads, making the hitherto dead objects come alive.
The dummies speak and express themselves to such a degree that not only are they given a lifelike appearance, they are also afforded a personality, often slightly annoying or disturbing. They frequently speak to themselves or to us, thus drawing the onlookers in, making them commit to the work.
"Tony Oursler: Dummies, Clouds, Organs, Flowers, Watercolours, Videotapes, Alters, Performances and Dolls", Portikus, Frankfurt am Main, 1995
"Tony Oursler—My Drawings", Kunstverein, Kassel, 1997
"Tony Oursler: Videotapes, Dummies, Drawings, Photographs, Viruses, Light, Heads, Eyes and CD-ROM", Kunstverein, Hannover, 1998
"Tony Oursler, Introjection: Mid-Career Survey 1976–1999", Williams Coll. Mus. A., Williamstown, MA, 1999
Tony Oursler lives and works in the city today. He studied at California Institute of the Arts and became Bachelor of Fine Art in 1979.....