As a pioneer of video art in New York in the early 1970s, Tony Oursler began to investigate psychological and social effects of visual technologies on individuals. In his ever-evolving multimedia and audiovisual practice, this theme has occupied him for decades and continues to do so today.
In the "Eyes" series from the 1990s, the artist projects close-ups of eyes onto spheres scattered around the exhibition space. These eyes, in which one can see the dilation of the pupils or simply the fluttering of the eyelids, sometimes seem to stare into space and other times to observe the visitor.
For the 12-minute video loop shown, "Shoot out with the Cops" (1998), he filmed the pupil of a friend, in which a live Car Chase broadcast from television is reflected. The eye movements are accompanied by the hectic sound and noise of the crime report. Oursler lets us participate in in psychological mini-dramas that are at once engaging in their comedy and disturbing in their uncanny juxtapositions and rigid commentary.
Tony Oursler (b. 1957), whose works are represented in museums and art collections worldwide, was involved in documenta IIX and IX in Germany, among others, and was honored with the Arnold Bode Prize of the documenta city of Kassel in 1996. He lives and works in New York City.