Tony Oursler – ‘Theres gold in the kitsch’

Tony Oursler – ‘Theres gold in the kitsch’

I’ll admit it, there was a time where I didn’t really ‘get’ video work. Alas times change.

More recently I’ve been exploring the possibilities of projection and looking at the work of Tony Oursler, who merges video, sculpture and installation, constantly expanding its potential, in a bid to physically embody thought.

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Ourslers’ collection of Phantasmagoria ephemera was on display last year in France, as well as the travelling projection piece, Influence Machine, which has been shown since 2009. This sees projections onto smoke and trees outdoors, its really intriguing and encouraging to see hes interest in the subject played out in his work. I really enjoy the inclusiveness of this, as maybe not everyone would go see it in a gallery, but it can certainly be enjoyed by all outdoors.

Many of the artists I have been drawn to of late all seem to be from CalArts. Tony Oursler and Mike Kelley where peers, ‘Poetics’ band mates and collaborators, brimming with raw intelligence and criticality.

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The Poetics Project, Centre Pompidou, France, 2013

Artnet asked Oursler what was his connection to kitsch…”I’m very fascinated with kitsch, pop art began alot of dismantling with the high low issues in america. There’s a real interest in exploring the kitsch, why things are kitsch for my generation, i think there’s gold in the kitsch’. I love this statement and couldn’t agree more.

I used to collect fastidiously, from a young age I roamed car boot sales and flea markets every weekend with my parents. Making small purchases, growing the collections and continuously re-arranging them. Small porcelain animals, to 60’s domestic products, like boxed wash gloves and shoe protectors for the highly aesthetic graphics, different packaging including printed plastic bags to Fiendish Feet yoghurt pots which had legs. I could go on.

 

The Videotapes of Tony Oursler by John Minkowsky

In the Studio with Tony Oursler by Michael Kimmelman

 

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