FX Exothermic, 2005

By Billy Rubin
Published in Vox Vernacular
Feb. 25, 2014

In FX Exothermic, Oursler's ongoing interest in deconstructing Hollywood tropes takes the blockbuster as a point of departure. The action-movie syntax calls for deafening incendiary interruptions that add an abstract element to the escapist action genre. Appropriating elaborate special- effects stock footage, Oursler creates a doppelganger of the ubiquitous Hollywood explosion in the form of a perpetual, anthropomorphized, cherry-orange blast. In this work, Oursler gives a dark and nuanced voice to the spectacle that, although generally humorous, suggests a juxtaposition between fantasy and escapism and real-world anarchy and terrorism. 

Mirroring the experience of watching an action film in the cinema, multiple projections and rumbling 5.1 surround sound expose the pleasure the viewer takes in destruction. By placing the viewer in close proximity to virtual danger Oursler highlights the irony of the fantasy of violence versus its reality.