Galeria Leme, Brazil
Oct. 19 - Nov. 15, 2013
Galeria Leme is pleased to present a solo exhibition by American artist Tony Oursler. A pioneer of video and multimedia art, this exhibition features works from Oursler's Bubble series (2003).
The artist is vastly known for his innovative combination of performance, video and sculpture. In 2003, Oursler grew increasingly interested in the way technology serves a surrogate friend, after reading about Japanese children feeding pets on the internet. How did this empathic bond develop between machines and humans and how could it potentially evolve in a digital space? Using new image-processing technology at the time, which allowed for sophisticated photographic high-resolution manipulation, such as stretching, bowing, and twisting, Oursler began to shape a cast of digital pets, or companions. Based on the notion of a "caricature," this series references a wide variety of sources, from Harvey Ball's the 1969 smiley face, which is evident in Soft 79, to the fertility goddess Venus of Wilendorff and Japanese manga. The often overtly humorous, somewhat grotesque characters attempt to seduce the viewer in various ways. In his scripts, Oursler listened carefully to the way people speak to pets as well as "pillow talk" and attempted to fuse the vulnerable, often embarrassing, private language of intimacy into the performances. Monosyllabic and moronic, the caricatures are often unsettling and provoke embarrassment in the viewer. The video editing programs of the time allowed Oursler to stretch and bend human features, exaggerating some and minimizing others, to suggest a cartoonish evolution which could only happen in a digital space.
The exhibition also features drawings from the period which highlight the multidimensionality of Oursler's process.