New York

Tony Oursler

Metro Pictures

In the midst of a jumble of pieces scattered in the darkly lit space, you could make out someone’s face—registering the kind of abject terror and nascent humiliation usually associated with an infant’s struggle to escape his crib—incarcerated in an oversized, capsulelike object. A tripod-based, miniature projection system faced this chirping visage (that of the artist himself), which stared back at the site of its origin: the video camera beaming the image into/onto the capsule form. Technically deft, Tony Oursler’s Instant Suckling, 1994, also coyly acknowledged the tradition of self-portraiture. An indictment of the plundering of traditional models (and experiences) of “subjectivity” by media culture, this work poignantly depicted the frustration of our desire to locate ourselves in our own reproduced reflections.

Disturbing enough to be endearing, Oursler’s theater of multimedia

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