Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Ross Architecture Gallery
Branden Joseph, Columbia University Art History and Archaeology
Tony Oursler, artist
John Miller, artist
Mark Wasiuta, Columbia University GSAPP
The exhibition Tony Oursler, UFOs, and Effigies presents two sets of images drawn from Tony Oursler’s extensive photographic archives. The two collections serve not only to open new perspectives onto the more well-known aspects of Oursler’s artistic production, but also to raise a larger set of questions about the “rhetoric” of the photographic image. Among other important distinctions, the two sets of photographs exhibit different mediatic temperatures. The heightened realism of the “hot” effigy photos and the “cool” objectivity of the UFO photography occupy competing and symmetrically opposite evidentiary positions. Each set strains against the outer edges of the truth claims that were culturally invested in photography, particularly as it functioned prior to the widespread adoption of digital photography and the electronic distribution of imagery via the Internet.