Tony Oursler: HIGH

By Tony Oursler, for "HIGH" an exhibition at Lisson Gallery
Published by Walter Konig
Aug. 31, 2009

Tony Oursler begins his conversation with David Rimanelli at the introduction of High by lamenting (or perhaps celebrating), 'There is a hole in my life.' This catalogue from Oursler's 2008 exhibition at Lisson Gallery features 17 new installations alongside key earlier works from 1990 to 2001. At once tragicomic, sexy and sinister, his new body of work delves into the tangle of contemporary society's obsessive desires and needs, attempting to reason with the irrational. Oursler furthers his signature practice of melding paintings and sculptural forms with video; he contorts technology to unravel his fascination with the complex web of societal constraints and psychological dilemmas. Preoccupation with the neuroses and dissatisfactions of the Internet age is explored in works like 'Cherry Nokia,' in which the viewer is confronted with a huge red 'sexting' cell phone; hurried fingers frantically dial-up images of soft-core porn videos, which ultimately fail to connect.