This exhibition brings together two works produced 32 years apart from Tony Oursler, one of the pioneers of video art. Both works have in common the experimentation of illusionistic effects with the image and the exploration of supernatural beliefs.
Tony Oursler is an artist who has always been interested in the subcultures and the marginal voices of American society that murmur under the dominating noise of the media. He is also a tireless researcher of the technologies of the image and its constant innovations. His work portrays the impact of this technological and media culture on the collective imagination and the psychic intimacy of the individual, while portraying its most disturbing, irrational and inexplicable side.
L-7, L-5 (1984) was his first video installation of immersive environment that allowed the entrance of the spectator in a space staged with images in movement and sound. It was also one of his first attempts to free the image of the limits of the monitor and produce a work that combined sculpture, painting, theater and video. The installation represents a nocturnal atmosphere of a city that seems to receive transmissions and visits of aliens, and for it Oursler composed a series of hybrid devices that integrate monitors and projections in objects and constructions. The work exudes humor but also projects a reflection on how Hollywood’s science fiction discourse has conditioned the imagination of society, while emphasizing the Manichaeism that dominates its narratives.
Its last great production is Imponderable (2015), a film that is projected in a cinematographic environment of what could be a 5D, with illusory and sensorial effects. With sophisticated technology, Oursler also updates the old optical illusion technique, the ghost of Pepper, a feature especially used in theater and haunted theme park homes. The film is inspired by the archives of the artist, composed of more than 2,500 images, publications and objects on paranormal and occult phenomena – ghostly apparitions, hypnotism, spiritism and telekinesis, UFOs and extraterrestrials, satanic cults, mysticism, voodoo, mediums, etc. Oursler weaves a story of superstitions and various beliefs with ghostly images and a surreal aesthetic that superimposes the story of his own family. These two works will be complemented in the exhibition with a documentary space on Imponderable and the work of Tony Oursler.
Imponderable is a LUMA Foundation production for the Parc des Ateliers, Arles, France, and LUMA Westbau, Zurich, Switzerland, 2015.+info