new-york

Tony Oursler

Diane Brown Gallery

Oozing blobs, leaky vessels, encrusted bits of debris, and mutant bodies have been longtime staples of Tony Oursler’s expressionist universe, a decrepit sci-fi wasteland a la Jean Cocteau, where crude props mingle with magical video effects. Here Oursler’s rich but cheesy theatrical dreamscapes serve as a perfect vehicle for the theme of pollutio—and, in this case, visions of colonial America provide the unexpected twist that brings it all back home.

In a small house of mirrors inscribed with astrological symbols and hex signs, entitled Krypt (all works 1990), a video monitor set amidst flickering electric candles is visible through a star-shaped doorway. The tape presents a dreamlike ramble that touches on subjects as diverse as pollution, chemistry, mind-altering drugs, nature, Americana, and TV. Scenes include a garden of kitsch figurines; a contest, judged by a Chippendale heirloom, in

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