Metro Pictures opens an exhibition of new work by Tony Oursler on April 20 continuing through June 1, 1996. An installation of enlarged human eyes spread across the floor of the main gallery will blink, gaze, and buzz with soundtracks. Each enormous, disembodied eye consists of video projections focused on fiberglass spheres (9" and 18" in diameter). Reflected in the eyes are small moving images culled from television surfing, films, computer games and other typical forms of pop-media with corresponding soundtracks.
The field of eyes further expands the artist's uncanny investigation of our capacity to "project" onto and empathize with works that are a fusion of objects and screens for video images of human expression and behavior. Focusing on self-reflection in the age of media and consumer culture, these works are a symbolic study of the human struggle with accelerated technology. Although increasingly reduced and refined, this work continues Oursler's long-standing video techniques of employing simple means, cartoonish surrogates, almost folk art production and a simple but sophisticated psychological narrative.
In the downstairs gallery groupings of small wooden figures or "flocks" will babble with overlapping texts written by the artist to form a language which is almost musical. Also on view will be a life-sized video-projected head submerged in a Plexiglas block of water.
Tony Oursler has had one-person exhibitions at the Stedlijk Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Wiener Secession in Vienna, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Anthology Film Archives in New York City, Portikus in Frankfurt and Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, among others. Select group exhibitions include "1995 Carnegie International" at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, "Documenta 8" and "Documenta 9" in Kassel, Germany, "Video Spaces: Eight Installations" and "Video and Language" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, "Altered and Irrational" and "1989 Biennial Exhibition" at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, and "Biennale d'Art Contemporain de Lyon" at Maison de Lyon in Lyon.
The artist is represented in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Saatchi Collection and the Tate Gallery in London, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki among others.
Oursler lives and works in New York City and attended the California Institute for the Arts.