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Tony Oursler

Tony Oursler

About the Exhibition

In October of 2018, Public Art Fund proposes to present a dynamic new commission by Tony Oursler over two weeks at Riverside Park South, a four-mile long waterfront park overlooking the Hudson River on New York City’s Upper West Side. Public Art Fund has commissioned Oursler to develop a new, multi-part video and performance work that will bring together iconography and imagery associated with the history of the Hudson River to be projected directly onto the river and surrounding elements of the natural and built landscape, transforming the water’s surface into a dynamic projection screen, as well as activating other portions of the park with dramatic interventions. For example, he will project onto a landmarked transfer bridge gantry that formerly facilitated the movement of freight from railyards to river barges—a salient reminder of the river’s industrial past—as well as trees and the underside of the Hudson Highway. Oursler’s projections will form a loose storyline related to the river and tracing its cultural, technological, and ecological histories. Oursler will take these big ideas and focus them down to iconic images that will be woven together to form the non-linear narrative. The videos will be enriched by an eerie soundscape, and other interventions that will guide visitors between the different aspects of the exhibition. Notably, this is the first time Oursler has created projections for a moving body of water. The hour-long videos will be projected on a loop during the evening for the duration of the exhibition, creating an ambient, exploratory experience. Viewers will be encouraged to explore Riverside Park South to engage with different aspects of the work, giving audiences a new creative relationship to this storied body of water, while providing the artist with an entirely new “canvas” for his innovative and groundbreaking work.


Riverside Park South/Hudson River

between 70th and 71st on the Hudson River Greenway

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About the Artist

Rooted in the medium of film, Tony Oursler’s work often draws connections among the history of image-making and technological origins and advancements in photography, film, and sound, as well as inspiration from more mystic and spiritual phenomena. A pioneer of video art in early 1980s New York, his practice has included a combination of projections, video screens, sculptures and optical devices, used in innovative, experimental ways to compelling ends. Tony Oursler (b. 1957, New York, NY) lives and works in New York City. His museum exhibitions include The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2017); Magasin III Museum & Foundation for Contemporary Art, Stockholm, Sweden (2016); Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-On-Hudson, NY (2016); The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2016); LUMA Westbau, Zurich, Switzerland (2015); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2014); Oude Kerk, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2014); Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev, Ukraine (2013); ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Denmark (2012); Helsinki City Art Museum, Finland; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2005); Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2001); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2000) and Kunstverein Hannover, Germany (1998). He has also participated in prestigious group exhibitions including documenta VIII and IX, Kassel, Germany (1987 and 1992). Oursler’s work is included in public collections worldwide, among them the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Museum of Osaka, Japan; Tate Collection, London, UK; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands and ZMK/Center for Art & Media, Karlsruhe, Germany. PAF presented one of Oursler’s seminal works The Influence Machine at Madison Square Park in 2000. The exhibition comprised projections of large faces onto smoke, trees, and buildings with corresponding narratives. Oursler’s new project with PAF demonstrates the organization’s commitment to providing artists with ongoing opportunities to both evolve and develop their practices and reach new audiences.

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