Retrospective, IVAM

Institut Valencia D'Art Modern | Valencia, Spain
Feb. 8 - May. 15, 2001


This exhibition traveled to the Koldo Mitxelena Kulturunea in San Sebastian, Spain and to Centro Cultural de Belem, Lisboa.

Tony Oursler (New York 1957) is one of the most innovative and interesting contemporary artists. He trained at the California Institute for the Arts, where he studied under John Baldessari and was a fellow student of the artist Mike Kelley, with whom, in 1977, he created a group, The Poetics, and with whom he also collaborated in Documenta X in Kassel with the work The Poetics Project, an installation that reviewed the decades of the seventies and eighties through projections, interviews and, especially, pop-rock music. His artistic career has been distinguished by his skill in the use of the new languages of the media, from his early videos to his disturbing, unsettling figurative works of the early nineties, represented by his well-known "talking heads": works consisting of rag dolls or puppets onto which previously-made recordings are projected, with crying or shouts or absurd monologues, producing a strong emotional impact on the spectator. The subjects that Oursler tackles most frequently focus critically on environmental and biological pollution, the neuroses of modern life, the effects of television, and psychological illnesses. The exhibition, prepared in close collaboration with the artist, consists of an exhaustive selection of his talking heads, works on paper, photographs made in the last few years, and pieces made recently.