Metro Pictures | 519 West 24th Street, New York, NY, 10001 Apr. 20 - Jun. 1, 1996
An exhibition of spherical sculptures, which become dismebodied eyeballs. Onto each eye, the small reflection of a television screen plays in rapid motion.
"The works seemed to have stirred-up some talk of spirituality, "windows to the soul" and things like that. But as I isolated them from the face as single giant orbs to my surprise they took on a much more alien quality devoid of human and emotional characteristics. I discovered that the isolated organ of the eye is incapable of showing emotion, which resides in the face which surrounds it. A number of people have reminded me that at one time it was believed that the eyes of the dead retained the last image which was seen at death. By carefully slicing the eye one could find this image and solve a murder perhaps by revealing the identity of the killer.
Real eyes are not so easy to read and people focus a lot of attention on them, trying to find something inside them. They are organs which constantly seek and watch and are in turn being watched. This eye, titled 'Zap/Flash', performed by Joe Gibbons , is looking at television while surfing the channels, and we all do here in America. So you see the eye with a little TV image reflected within the iris. The pupil contracts and expands. It seems to be almost feeding. Sometimes you can hear the soundtrack and sometimes you can recognize the images and sometimes not, they are just too dim or small or far away. The reflections are random because at the time they are recorded they are broadcast live so I never know the combinations which will occur. I switch channels intuitively while recording the image. This is probably the only improvisational part of my work, surfing." (Tony Oursler, 1996, in conversation with Christiane Meyer-Stoll)