Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Tony Oursler

For a trip down Boston new media art memory lane, I visited video art star Tony Oursler’s show at New York’s Lehmann Maupin gallery last month to check out what the former Bostonian was up to. Oursler taught at MassArt in the 1990s and now lives in New York.

Here he presented flat aluminum sheets cut and painted to resemble brightly colored paint splatters. Holes in the sheets framed small LCD screens showing DVDs of bulging blinking wild eyes, squirmy lips and weird pans of faces. And from somewhere behind the pieces came a barely audible murmuring. I couldn’t make it out, but Ms. K joked that it sounded like Gollum whispering about his ring, his precious ring. (This video is a pretty good record of what they're like.) The aluminum plates weren’t satisfying objects, and all together it was kinda cheesy and annoying.

But if you want to experience some other fairly recent Oursler stuff, check out his five eyeball video projection sculptures from 2005 in the ICA’s “Super Vision” exhibit through April 29. To explore another Oursler-Boston connection check out his 1985 video “Evol,” which was partly funded by the Contemporary Art Television project, a collaboration between Boston’s WGBH and the ICA.

Tony Oursler, Lehmann Maupin, 540 West 26th St., New York, Feb 17 to March 24, 2007.

Pictured from top to bottom: “Invisible Green Link,” “(Usually) Black Anythingyou want,” and “Emanate Orange Research,” all from 2007. Images courtesy of Mr. Oursler and Lehmann Maupin Gallery.


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