Tony Oursler / Open Obscura


Tony Oursler / Open Obscura

PAC (Contemporary Art Pavilion) in Milan hosts Open Obscura, the anthological exhibition by Tony Oursler, the American artist born in New York in 1957.

The show, curated by Gianni Mercurio and Demetrio Paparoni, presents – for the first time in a public venue in Italy – the works realised by the artist in the last decade. Huge and small size talking holograms projected on spherical, smooth or wrinkled surfaces, orbiting eyes and big mouths that whisper confused messages, which overlap.

Oursler isolates parts of human body – faces, mouths and ears, but mainly eyes – creating freakish creatures, grotesque and ironic anthropomorphic images that amuse and disturb at the same time. The dreamlike video-sculptures drag visitors into visionary and virtual atmospheres, analysing states of mind and mental health issues as well as the dialogue between human beings and new technologies.

The works created by the artist embody his idea of “making a breakdown in aesthetic culture”. Through the use of different languages and a sort of “frankensteinism” that distorts bodies, Oursler reflects his personal introspection and psychological research, focusing the attention on civil issues, which represent the darker side of human beings like consumerism, addictions, violence, sex and pollution. In works like Cosmic Cloud and Purple Dust, the artist explores the inner and the outer space, creating a bridge between the conscious and the unconscious – the external light space and the inner dark one, while in Peak, a series of micro sculptures made of an omnium-gatherum (glass, metal, clay and micro projections), he continues his research on the ways in which technology affects the human psyche.

Tony Oursler poetry is originally based on the importance of interaction and dialogue between the spectator and the artwork. Mixing irony and emotional tension he synthesizes uncanny elements that leave viewers stunned and astonished.

The exhibition will run throug June 12.

Monica Lombardi