los-angeles

Tony Oursler, Subz, 2017, wood, metal resin, gesso, video (color, silent, 23 minutes 33 seconds); four panels, from left: 71 × 34“, 87 × 30”, 76 × 24“, 38 × 35”.

Tony Oursler

Redling Fine Art

Tony Oursler, Subz, 2017, wood, metal resin, gesso, video (color, silent, 23 minutes 33 seconds); four panels, from left: 71 × 34“, 87 × 30”, 76 × 24“, 38 × 35”.

The fringe world of alien believers and self-proclaimed “contactees” was the subject of “Unidentified,” Tony Oursler’s recent exhibition at Redling Fine Art, his first show in Los Angeles in more than a decade. Oursler’s investigation into the emergence of ufo culture could be viewed as an offshoot of his “Imponderable Archive,” a historical collection of more than twenty-five hundred photographs, drawings, publications, documents, and other objects from the eighteenth century to the present related to a variety of occult practices and accounts of paranormal phenomena. (Amassed by the artist over the past twenty-some years, this sprawling archive sparked an exhibition, book, and film of the same name in 2016.)

Upon entering the dimly lit gallery, one was immediately drawn to four flat, larger-than-life-size busts, spotlit and mounted on the room’s walls. Part of a larger ongoing

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