Little Worlds: Video Sculptures by Tony Oursler

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    Tony Oursler. "I Like You Planet," 2007. Fiberglass sculpture on stand, projector, DVD player.

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    Tony Oursler. "Blue Negative," 2000. Sony CPJ 200 projector, DVD player, DVD, tripod, wire, glass devil. Image courtesy of the artist and Gallery Paule Anglim, San Francisco.

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February 21, 2013 - June 23, 2013
Honolulu Museum of Art

Exhibition Overview

New York artist Tony Oursler takes the moving image away from the video monitor and projects it onto three-dimensional surfaces and environments to create miniaturized worlds in which funny, strange, surreal narratives and imagery confront the viewer.

This exhibition reveals the development of Oursler’s work from the early 1990s to the present, with simple projections of filmed actors’ faces and monologues/dialogues onto blank doll-like figures set in a suitcase or under mattresses, to ever more complex and convoluted situations that play with distortions of form and image.

The works on view include sculptures from Oursler’s 2007 series Anomalous Bodies, Resonant Dust, Worms, a cosmic, comical look at outer space that uses imagery explored in science and in film (with nods to Jules Verne and sci-fi), adding parts of the human body, swirling clouds, and eerie lighting.

The show’s most recent works, from 2012, incorporate small objects and tiny video projections within a proscenium mounted on a metal stand. “The characters interact as though they embody poetically layered patterns of thought,” Oursler says of the intimate sculptures. “Each of these works is a contemplation on human relationships and the implicit existential struggle. I invite the viewer to lean in and decipher the shouts and murmurs as these relationships unfold. I hope they recognize a few of these situations.”

Oursler was recently in the news as the director of the video for David Bowie's first single in a decade—Where Are We Now?—released in January.

In the Henry R. Luce Gallery.

Support for this exhibition provided by Horizon Lines
and media sponsor HI Luxury Magazine.


See Tony Oursler talk about his work in his studio.
Video by Tate.