US artist Tony Oursler stretches the possibilities of video projection beyond the wall or the screen, he projects video images on to three-dimensional objects, with the express purpose of animating them. He brings these objects to life in an uncanny and sometimes sinister way. A small stuffed fabric ball is brought to life by video projection, to become a mannequin’s head which pleads for help, another spherical object becomes an eyeball, which, of course, is mute, but with its barely perceptible, minuscule movements generates feelings of claustrophobia in the viewer. In another installation, a dummy trapped beneath a heavy mattress, with an anguished, but virtually immobile face projected on to it, repeatedly wails ‘Stop staring at me, go away’. The viewer is turned not only into a voyeur, but also an intruder. Oursler has developed a comparatively simple idea with consummate skill to create gripping, and often disturbing works of art.
The work of Tony Oursler and Rodney Graham is to be shown, along with many other video artists, at the Lisson Gallery at 9 Keane Street, Covent Garden, London WC2 – the first large scale exhibition of its kind in the capital – from 27 April to 26 May.