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

Oliver Laric


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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