By Raymond Bellour, Tony Conrad, Constance DeJong and Tony Oursler. With interviews by Dan Graham and M
Published by Poligrafa
Aug. 2, 2001
The intelligent irony that resonates through the best-known body of work of the American artist Tony Oursler, namely, his video and projection installations, results from the subtle combination of sound, language, and pop culture images that suffuse it. These elements are thoroughly explored in this monograph, the most extensive publication ever about Oursler and his work. His videos often employ the strangely projected human face to created bizarre contemporary icons and fragmented narratives that, while containing a humorous element, also speak to the dislocation caused by contemporary issues of sex, violence, and power. "Tony Oursler" includes 180 illustrations from his video, sculpture, and mixed-media works on paper, as well as an extensive selection of the artist's own writings. There are also two long conversations between Oursler and the artists Mike Kelley and Dan Graham, which testify to the long-lasting mutual appreciation and collaboration between them. This is a major new publication on the career of one of the most important American artists of the last two decades.
From the Library Journal
This hefty and beautifully printed volume uses a variety of approaches to examine contemporary artist Tony Oursler's work. There are traditional analytic essays exploring the evolution of themes over nearly a quarter century, Q&As with fellow artists, texts excerpted from video pieces as well as independent writing by the artist (including a fascinating time line on "mimetic technologies"), and, finally, hundreds of illustrations. Oursler is best known for "talking head" videos that sprang to prominence in the 1990s, which most often seem to convey archetypal anxieties of the modern world. The themes revealed here and in his continuing photographic series are both more personal to Oursler and broader in intellectual range, dealing with aesthetic problems and societal issues as well. Giving an important artist his due, this book will continue to be of value even as Oursler's career evolves. It belongs in all serious academic and public library art collections; other books in this informal series should likewise be considered. -
Eric Bryant, "Library Journal"