Tony Oursler: High
2 September – 3 October 2008
Lisson Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition by the American artist Tony Oursler. The show will use both gallery spaces to exhibit new installations and key earlier works. Oursler’s practice explores a complex web of societal constraints and psychological dilemmas. The new body of work developed for this exhibition delves into the real/fantastic morass of obsessive desires and needs, or the "reason" of the irrational.
The new works in this show conjure these psycho-social fractures in tragicomic fashion. Oversized mundane objects and neurotic activities become agents of internal dramas that defy diagnosis. One highly theatricalised tableau will feature a forest of slowly burning columnar cigarettes, the only audio is the eerie amplification of an invisible smoker's inhalation. For another work, Oursler has created a huge hot-red 'sex' cell phone, on which fingers are constantly dialling up images of found, homemade soft-core videos of sexed-up vixens, yet never connecting. These works follow the artist's signature practice of fusing sculptural forms with video. Other works on show will represent something of a departure, as Oursler experiments with more pictorial modes of video presentation. One work will feature a loop projection of a young woman attempting to drink an impossible amount and becoming a fountain whose flow is reversed through the magic of editing.
The exhibition will also feature a selection of key earlier works that will provide a background to the latest developments in Oursler’s practice.
Tony Oursler lives and works in New York. Recent solo exhibitions include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the Palazzo delle Papesse in Sienna, Italy (curated by Marco Pierini). Introjection, the artist’s mid-career survey, was on view from 1999 to 2001 at the Williams College Museum of Art, Massachusetts; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and Des Moines Art Center, Iowa. In 2000, Ourlser’s installation The Darkest Color Infinitely Amplified was presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Tate Gallery, London. His solo touring show Dispositifs, went to the Musée de Jeu de Paume, Paris; Domus Atrium, Salamanca; City Art Museum, Helsinki and GL Strand, Cophenhagen in 2005 – 2006.
Lisson Gallery will publish a catalogue on the occasion of this exhibition with an interview by New York based critic David Rimanelli. Rimanelli has been closely involved in the conception of this exhibition through frequent conversations with the artist over the past four months.
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