Exhibition

Tony Oursler. Imponderable

18 Jun 2016 – 8 Jan 2017

MoMA Museum of Modern Art

New York
New York, United States

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  • From the east side of Manhattan M1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 to 53rd Street From the west side of Manhattan M50 cross-town to 50th Street. Proceed to 53rd Street.
  • From the east side of Manhattan 6 train to 51st Street, transfer to the E or M train; one stop to 53rd Street and Fifth Avenue From the west side of Manhattan E or M train to 53rd Street and Fifth Avenue, or B, D, or F train to 47-50 Street Rockefeller Center

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Tony Oursler’s Imponderable (2015–16) offers an alternative depiction of modernism that reveals the intersection of technological advancements and occult phenomena over the last two centuries.

About

Presented in a “5-D” cinematic environment utilizing a contemporary form of Pepper’s ghost—a 19th-century phantasmagoric device—and a range of sensory effects, Imponderable is an immersive feature-length film inspired by Oursler’s own archive of ephemera relating to stage magic, spirit photography, pseudoscience, telekinesis, and other manifestations of the paranormal. Drawing on these objects, Imponderable weaves together a social, spiritual, and empirical history of the virtual image that overlaps with the artist’s own family history. A cast of characters including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Harry Houdini, Mina “Margery” Crandon, and members of Oursler’s family are portrayed by an eclectic ensemble of artists, musicians, and performers including Kim Gordon, Jim Fletcher, Keith Sanborn, and Constance DeJong. Bringing together Oursler’s ongoing interest in mysticism, psychedelia, popular culture, and media history, the work employs macabre humor and theatrical surrealism to reflect on the irrational relationship between belief systems and the authenticity of images. Imponderable is presented in conjunction with selections from Oursler’s archive relating to the film.

This exhibition coincides with Tony Oursler: The Imponderable Archive, on view at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, June 25–October 30, 2016. Imponderable was originally commissioned and produced by the LUMA Foundation for the Parc des Ateliers, Arles, France, and LUMA Westbau, Zurich, Switzerland, 2015.

Exhibiting artists

Tony Oursler

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