“Art Now: Tony Oursler’s Time Stop”

January 19–June 4, 2006

For immediate release: January 5, 2006
For further information, contact: Emmie Donadio, Chief Curator, (802) 443–2240

MIDDLEBURY, VT— On Jan. 19, the Middlebury College Museum of Art opens the fifth installation of its ongoing contemporary series Art Now. Comprised of a single video installation piece, Tony Oursler’s Time Stop (1998), the exhibition introduces two talking heads to the museum environment. The exhibit will be on display through June 4.

Through his use of miniature LCD projectors, Tony Oursler animates two puppet-like orbs that appear to be conducting a conversation. But are they? Rather than facing each other, the two look out at us and advance their spirited and vivid interchange into our space. Grimacing and groaning, laughing and lamenting, the disembodied heads engage in a stream-of-consciousness free-for-all, peppering their quasi-dialog with biting idioms and sharp sounds.

Influenced by MTV and fascinated by the effect of television on audiences of all ages and social strata, Oursler has created a new mixed medium—freestanding video sculpture. By projecting video images of human faces, Oursler transforms metal tripods and fiberglass orbs into thinking, speaking people who aggressively assert their presence in our space. Confronting us with accusatory stares, catty comments, and rhetorical questions, these figures throw our world back at us, challenging us to piece it together.

Tony Oursler, one of the foremost contemporary video artists, has been making strides in conceptual, mixed-media, technology-based art for more than two decades.  He began working with video projectors in 1992, and has been reinventing the medium ever since. His unique creations combine moving images with sculpture and sound, freeing mass media from the confines of the television box and releasing it into the world. Before exploding onto the scene in New York, Oursler first earned acclaim in Europe, following his participation in 1992’s Documenta IX. He has since gained an international reputation as one of today’s most innovative artists working in any medium.

Oursler’s work has been shown in solo exhibitions worldwide, most recently at the Jeu de Paume, Paris; the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sidney, Australia. A mid-career retrospective in 1999 was seen at Mass MoCA and the Williams College Museum of Art.

The Middlebury College Museum of Art is free and open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. It is closed Mondays. The Museum is accessible to people with varying disabilities. Parking is available in the Center for the Arts parking lot. For further information, please call (802) 443–5007 or TTY (802) 443–3155, or visit the Museum’s website at http://museum.middlebury.edu/.