As American artist Tony Oursler’s phantasmagoric projection installation The Influence Machine occupies Tate Modern’s River Landscape, Tate Film presents a selection of Oursler’s single-channel videos. Best known for his multimedia installations often featuring ‘talking’ sculptures locked in existential quandaries, Oursler has been experimenting with video since the late 1970s, fusing strange dream landscapes and meandering psychodramatic narratives in a grotesque expressionistic theatre made entirely from recycled fragments of mediated experiences and pop-cultural tropes.
Programme One is a free screening presenting two works featuring artist, filmmaker and musician Tony Conrad, who collaborated with Oursler on the soundtrack for The Influence Machine. Sound Digressions in Seven Colors is the single-channel version of a multi-channel projection installation, in which looped recordings of seven performers are superimposed in an experiment with chance recombination. Synesthesia: Tony Conrad is one in a series of interviews with seminal figures working at the intersection of experimental music, performance and art, originally part of the Poetics Project, an ongoing collaboration with Mike Kelley aimed at creating an open archive on the cross-pollinations of art and music, previously presented as a multimedia installation.
Programme Two follows the development of Oursler’s visual language, from his characteristically low-tech set designs, inventively assembled from brightly painted cardboard and household objects, to the use of long fixed-camera shots and claustrophobic close-ups reminiscent of his projected doll pieces.
Tate Film is supported by Maja Hoffmann / LUMA Foundation