London

Oliver Laric, 5, 2013, HD video, color, sound, 10 minutes.

Oliver Laric, 5, 2013, HD video, color, sound, 10 minutes.

Oliver Laric

Seventeen

Oliver Laric, 5, 2013, HD video, color, sound, 10 minutes.

At Seventeen gallery, Oliver Laric’s single-channel HD-video animation 5, 2013, was projected onto a wall built in the center of the space. The ten-minute video, presented on a continuous loop, shows a white room and a single table. This bleak environment is occupied by five computer-animated avatars, Lewis, Alice, Ada, Janus, and Sam, who take turns sitting at the table one pair at a time, engaged in rapid-fire talk, as if on a speed date. Their names suggest a multitude of references, ranging from Lewis Carroll, Alice B. Toklas, and Ada Lovelace (the mathematician and proto–computer programmer) to Janus (the double-faced Roman god of transition) and Samuel Beckett. Yet these figures are also grounded in a further level of symbolism: Each personality corresponds to one of the five Chinese elements, signified by the characters’ shirt colors: wood (green), fire (red), metal (white),

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