Tony Oursler. Open Obscura
Gianni Mercurio, Demetrio Paparoni
PAC, Roma & 24 Ore Cultura, Pero, 2011
The Pavilion of Contemporary Art in Milan proves to be a highly prestigious international exhibition space with the anthological exhibit of works by Tony Oursler. Along with Bill Viola and Gary Hill, Tony Oursler is the best known American video artist, considered the inventor of video-sculpture. He is an artist of extraordinary expressive power, one of the most innovative artists who have used video as an expressive language.
Oursler has freed video art from the speciﬁc limits of the television screen, and from images projected on a level surface, by interacting in an original way with real sculpture. But his art superimposes sculpture, design, installation and performance. Tony Oursler’s work is dominated by the key themes of everyday contemporary life such as the relationship with the media, mental illness, pop culture, consumerism and pollution. His language is innovative and timeless.
His expressiveness is designed to reﬂ ect on the people of yesterday, today and tomorrow, on their feelings and their ability to develop their own experience by constructing personal and collective symbols.
The exhibition presents Oursler’s aesthetic path starting from the sculpture-screens of the 1990s, with deformed faces reciting intimidated monologues in Talking Heads, and then evolving into the Eyes series, displayed here in a specially created version consisting of ten eyes projected on spheres scattered about the exhibition area. Dynamic eyes that seem to focus on the space or observe the visitor. The disturbing exchange of glances between the work and its audience, reducing human beings to an eye, is one of the central themes of Tony Oursler’s works. The PAC exhibit also presents a series of installations inspired by the exploration of outer space as perceived in the popular imagination. Spectacular works with an unusual ability to involve the public. It is a unique and engrossing occasion for visitors to experiment new visual and acoustic impressions by creating their own original aesthetic and sensory path.
Milan, contemporary capital, offers the international public an exhibit of considerable aesthetic and scientiﬁ c importance, a tribute to an artist who has interpreted modernity by questioning and searching for traces of the truth that everyone is called upon to read and interpret.