Tony Oursler - X ERGO Y
30 Nov 2014 - 18 Jan 2015

During Amsterdam Art Weekend Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam unveils the first art projection to be screened on the façade of its new building. American artist Tony Oursler (1957) created X ERGO Y specifically for the museum’s new white exterior. X ERGO Y will be on view from November 30 to January 18, 2015 between 7:00 – 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 – 11:00 p.m. 

X ERGO Y is based on belief systems: our pluralistic vision of the world. The work reflects on the worldviews through which we attempt to gain a grip of reality. X ERGO Y wanders through the history of humankind, presenting images and metaphors that trace the development of the civilized world.

Stedelijk Museum Director Beatrix Ruf says, “In a time that challenges us with many new conditions and confronts us with many new technologies, Tony Oursler guides us through iconic images of our history and presents us with the conflicted attitudes and beliefs that develop when progress – in the form of the latest scientific discoveries and research – disrupts our safe, familiar worldviews.”

In this work, Oursler juxtaposes images from 3D scans and 3D computer models of artefacts with questions about what we do, or do not, believe. The objects in the video, all of which are handmade, are charged with very different culturally defined significance: a voodoo doll, a classical sculpture, a ritual Tibetan skull. Within their new projected framework, the images appear to be interchangeable, with which Oursler provokes us with the subjectivity of our belief systems. The artefacts in the work also call to mind objects in a museum – objects for which the meaning and value are researched by the museums themselves. 

Tony Oursler (New York, 1957) is one of the most distinguished American artists working today. Together with contemporary artists such as Mike Kelley and Paul McCarthy, he was part of the art scene that emerged on America’s West Coast in the 1980s. Oursler works across a range of media, including video, sculpture, installation, performance, and painting. His work has been has been exhibited in prestigious institutions including Documenta VIII, IX (Kassel), the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), the Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), and Museum Ludwig (Cologne). Oursler currently lives and works in New York City.

X ERGO Y will be on view from November 30, 2014 to January 18, 2015 between 7:00 – 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 – 11:00 p.m. 

The work Oursler made for the Stedelijk Museum also references the facade projections by the artist that are simultaneously presented at the Oude Kerk.

The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam Art Weekend, Amsterdam Light Festival, and the Oude Kerk are working in close collaboration on this joint event featuring the work of Tony Oursler in Amsterdam.

With special thanks to BeamSystems and Villeroy & Boch, Amsterdam