Tony Oursler: Selected Works

1979, 34:20 min, b&w and color, sound
1979, 9:17 min, b&w, sound
1979, 13:52 min, b&w, sound
1979, 11:51 min, b&w and color, sound

These early examples of Oursler's ingenious video theater are bizarre tales of good and evil. Crudely executed, they are as funny as they are chilling. Life is a series of spontaneous, dryly humorous episodes about the absurdity and grotesqueness of everyday life. Oursler writes: "When I look around I see that life is pregnant with pleasures and dangers. I get confused. We come down the chute and start out O.K. Then everything is go go go until you... you know what happens." Diamond (Head) is a tale of lust and greed, starring a triangular-shaped cardboard protagonist who marries and has a "Good Son" — a small, fetus-shaped balloon. Good Things and Bad Things, which introduces Oursler's recurring theme of the interdependence of good and evil, culminates in a wild vignette in which the artist plays the role of a young woman in a violent world turned sideways.