Lisson Gallery Tony Oursler – template/variant/friend/stranger

Lisson Gallery


It presents works of Tony Oursel, an American artist for whom the primary medium of expression is film. The exhibited works combine photography and video. The photographs show scaled up heads with eyes and mouths replaced by moving images -video films. The artist clearly points out which parts of face are the most expressive. On entering the showroom we are confronted with five enlarged heads in different colors and with different facial expression. Moving eyes and mouths are dominating and instantly catch the attention. 

My immediate feeling was clear: I was being observed. It increases when you hear whispers. We have the impression that we are in  the midst of large faces that observe and comment on our every move and reaction. To get such effect it was crucial to combine static and moving elements – which contradicts the nature of human face.

The faces, actually, were devoid of emotions. Each of them was subjected to mathematical analyzes, we can see on them connected points, which resemble constellations of stars. This procedure deprives human face of some natural characteristics and makes them to become fusion of man and robot.

I think, that the main goal of the artist was to create the atmosphere of anxiety and a sense of helplessness to the duality of human nature. It seems to me to be just essential in relation to The Clockwork Orange. When we see Alex face and his painted eye our reaction is similar. Even if we do not know what Alex and his gang are involved in.


© Krystian Jarnuszkiewicz, all rights reserved