Tony Oursler. Alienation, emptiness and videosculpture

Last Sunday I visited one of my favorite places in Milan, the Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea. I have had reasons to praise their exhibitions in the recent past (Yayoi Kusama, Franko B., Joel Peter Witkin and Jan Saudek). The current show – until June 12th – presents works by American videoartist Tony Oursler. From the press release:

The work of the artist, since the beginning of his career, has been dominated by themes such as violence, the relationship with media, drugs, mental illnesses, pop culture, consumerist compulsion, sex, pollution. Ourlser’s analysis is focused on how all those things affect man’s corporeity and social and interpersonal relations.

Being all of these topics in which I am rather interested, I had high expectations. They were not fulfilled.

As I walked through the exhibition, I was nagged by the persistent feeling that the artists’ technical virtuosity as a videographer creating three-dimensional animated sculptures had taken over whatever meaning he wanted to convey to the viewer. I left the show not having learned anything about the unconscious, about schizophrenia, about art, or about anything else.

Tony Oursler was also the inaugural contributor to the Adobe Museum of Digital Media, which you can visit online (, but which at first glance looks to me line an elaborate showcase for Adobe’s Flash.

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