Pioneer in video art, Tony Oursler exhibits his ingenious devices—part sculpture, installation and performance—around the world. For the exhibition Trees, he creates Eclipse, an installation placed in the garden of the Fondation Cartier, where the trees are used to create images with video projection. He writes: “The enchanted forests are a refuge for our imagination.” Inspired by the transformation of Daphne into a tree, the Tree of Life from the Norse cosmogony, or a small metaphorical drawing of a tree by Charles Darwin representing his evolutionary theory, and the new DNA technology CRISPR-Cas9, he creates a dynamic sound and light installation where trees become the center of conflicting world views and come to life with projections inviting the viewer to reconsider technology and nature. Eclipse was conceived and produced specially for the garden of the Fondation Cartier. More than three hours of materials in compressed to form a densely layered experience for the visitor. Thematically concerned with the environment and its relationship to technology and magical thinking, this work invites the participants to contemplate their position within the biosphere. As they move through the area surrounding the building, they will find it is populated with art in the form of talking lights, and a cast of shifting digital projections which include a disaster-zone reporter, new ager, psychologist, medieval wild-woman, the Green Man and an unstable businessman.
At nightfall, come rediscover the garden, transformed through the artist’s phantasmagorical imagination.
Tony Oursler is an American artist born in New York in 1957. Having graduated from the California Institute of Arts, he works primarily with video, a medium he truly revolutionized by removing some properties from the projection, such as the screen frame, thus creating immersive installation that combine sound, light, and image. By using film, photography, sculpture, computer or even soundtracks, the artist explores—while tending to blur it—the frontier between reality and fantasy. Tony Oursler played a part in the Fondation Cartier’s exhibition Yanomami, Spirit of the Forest in 2003.
Performers: Jean Brassard, Dominique Bousquet, Sarah de Burgh, Joy Mattar, Brandon Olsen, Madeline Jensen, Sarah Kinlaw, Taryn Blake Miller, Emilie Rochefort, Jinnie Lee, Shelley Valfer, Christine van Assche, Samantina Zenon
French translation of the texts written by Tony Oursler: Joy Mattar
Music: Tony Oursler, Corey Riddell
Solo Electric Guitar: Cameron Jamie
Editing: Jack Colton
Kirlian Photography & Video: Jacqueline Castel
Animation: Sakshi Jain
View more information on the Fondation Cartier’s website.