FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 11 Thomas Aquinas and his Effect on Art and HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? Episode 2: THE MIDDLES AGES (Feature on artist Tony Oursler )

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프란시스 쉐퍼 – 그러면 우리는 어떻게 살 것인가 introduction (Episode 1)

How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)

#02 How Should We Then Live? (Promo Clip) Dr. Francis Schaeffer

The clip above is from episode 9 THE AGE OF PERSONAL PEACE AND AFFLUENCE

10 Worldview and Truth

In above clip Schaeffer quotes Paul’s speech in Greece from Romans 1 (from Episode FINAL CHOICES)

Two Minute Warning: How Then Should We Live?: Francis Schaeffer at 100

A Christian Manifesto Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

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Francis and Edith Schaeffer

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Summary[edit]

Artist
[show]Jan van Eyck (circa 1390–1441) Link back to Creator infobox template wikidata:Q102272
Title The Virgin of chancellor Rolin.

SUNDAY, APRIL 30, 2006

Aquinas and his Effect on Art

I have started reading Francis Schaeffer’s “Escape from Reason.” In this book, he seeks to analyze modern culture (208). He believes, and argues, that to effectively communicate to the non-Christian in modern culture, Christians must be able to do more than just “learn the language,” but instead must “learn another language – that of the thought-forms of the people to whom he speaks” (207).

Many in modern culture, in large part because of the very thought patterns that Schaeffer scrutinizes, disregard the significant impact that the roots of a movement or organization has on its current form. Of course, as more time elapses, the influence becomes diluted, but it still remains a vital clue to understanding the ideology and nature of the movement.

Understanding the gravity of analyzing an ideology’s roots, Schaeffer initiates his examination of modern thought with Thomas Aquinas.

Aquinas (1225) led the way for the discussion of the apparent dichotomy between grace and nature. Grace was considered the higher (i.e. God the Creator, heaven and heavenly things, the unseen and its influence on the earth, man’s soul, unity), and nature the lower (i.e. the created, earth and earthly things, the visible and what nature and man do on earth, man’s body, diversity).

Before this point, Byzantinian thought ruled, in which heavenly things were all-important and were so holy that they were not pictured realistically. Nature, on the other hand, was of no interest, particularly regarding art.

Aquinas bridged the gap between the two, placing a more Biblical emphasis on nature. Since nature is God’s creation, the Byzantine disdain for creation ultimately was a disdain for God.

Unfortunately, Aquinas exceeded the Biblical view of nature by creating an “autonomous” area of the intellect that is unaffected by the fall. In Aquinas’s view “the will of man was fallen, but the intellect was not.” From this view, natural theology was born, the belief that theology could be pursued independently from the scriptures.

Also serving as an example of the falsity of the departmentalization of subject matters, this theological viewpoint quickly influenced the arts.

The first artist to be influenced was Cimabue (1240-1302), the teacher of Giotto (1267-1337). Instead of all the subjects of art remaining in the upper realm of heavenly matters, the line between the two subject matters is bridged through painting the lesser things naturalistically. They still painted heavenly things (i.e. Mary) as symbols, but this started the trend toward naturalization.

Dante (1265-1321) marked the introduction of this belief into literature by writing the way Cimabue and Giotto painted. Petrarch (1304-1374) and Boccaccio (1313-1375) show the same development. Petrarch was the first person that we hear of who ever climbed a mountain for the sake of climbing a mountain. His ideology pervaded his mind and became evident in his actions.

This belief and the actions were not in any way wrong, but do show the influence of natural theology in the various fields. Eventually, though, “nature began to ‘eat up’ grace” (212). From Dante to Leonardo da Vinci, nature gradually became more and more autonomous. By the time Renaissance reached its peak, nature had eaten up grace.

This trend is most noticeable in art. The miniature Grandes Heures de Rohan, painted in 1415, shows Mary, Joseph, and Jesus fleeing Egypt, passing by a man sowing seed, and a miracle happens–grain is sown in the field, it grows in an hour, soldiers come and ask the sower how long the three passed by, and he told the soldiers they passed when he sowed the seed, and the soldiers returned. Mary, Joseph, the baby, a servant, and the donkey are at the top of the picture and were large, whereas the sower and the soldiers were small. This is the older concept, with grace overwhelmingly important.

In Northern Europe, Van Eyck (1370-1441) was one who opened the door for nature in a new way. He painted nature as it is seen. His 1410 painting was of Jesus’ baptism, but the baptism is only a small section, with an emphasis on the detailed landscape. After this, landscape emphases spread rapidly from north to south Europe.

In 1435, Van Eyck painted Madonna of the Chancellor Rolin, in which Rolin is facing Mary and is the same size as the virgin mother. His hands are folded in paryer, but is still seen as an equal to Mary.

The next big step comes from Masaccio (1410-1428) who introduces true perspective and true space. For the first time, light is shown correctly and with perspective, with the full effects of shadowing.

Filippo Lippi (1406-1469) was the first to have arguably crossed the line. He painted Mary in 1465 as a very beautiful girl holding a baby in her arms with a landscape obviously influenced by Van Eyck. Mary, though, is no longer a symbol, but is a pretty girl with a baby–in fact, she was his mistress, and all Florence knew it was his mistress.

In 1450 in France, Fouquet (1416-1480) painted the king’s mistress as Mary, scandolously painting Mary feeding Jesus with one breast exposed. Schaeffer uses this progression to illustrate that as soon as one accepts the autonomous realm, the lower element begins eating up the higher element.

Cosimo the Elder of Florence (died 1464) was one of the first to emphasize Platonic philosophy. Aquinas had emphasized Aristotelian thinking. Ficino (1433-1499) was the greatest Neoplatonist, and he taught Lorenzo the Magnificent (1449-1492). By the time of da Vinci, Neoplatonism was a dominant force in Florence. This belief helped find something to put in the “upper story” while Aristotelianism remained in the lower realm: universals/grace on the top, partiuclars/nature on the bottom.

Leonardo grappled with how you hold the particulars together (unity) once they are set free. He was claimed to be the first mathematician. He saw that if you begin with an autonomous rationality you come to mathematics (what can be measured), and it only deals with particulars, not universals. Thus, you never get beyond the mechanics. He understood this would not do, so he tried to paint the soul. The soul is not the Christian soul, but the universal, such as the soul of the sea or of the tree.

Soul = unity
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Mathematics – particulars – mechanics

Leonardo never painted much mainly because he tried primarily to paint the universal, and never succeeded. Italian modern writer and philosopher Giovanni Gentile said that Leonardo died in despondency because he would not abandon the hope of a rational unity between the particulars and the universal.

This is evidenced in modern thought today. The relativism of the day assumes a basic individual intellectual ability to discern for the self. Now, liberalism emphasizes nature, base pleasures, and completely disregards the upper realm. Universals are universally disregarded for the particulars, of which no common link is purported to even exist.

POSTED BY THE WALKING MAN AT 6:38 PM 0 COMMENTS

 

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I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970’s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer points out that during this time period unfortunately we have the “Church’s deviation from early church’s teaching in regard to authority and the approach to God.” In my view we see a move from more conservative evangelicalism of the early church to the Catholic Church.

E P I S O D E 2

T h e

MIDDLE AGES

I. Introduction: The Post-Roman World

A. Social, political, and intellectual uncertainty.

B. General decline in learning, but monasteries were a depository for classical and Christian documents.

C. The original pristine Christianity of the New Testament gradually became distorted.

D. Decline of vital naturalism in art parallels decline of vital Christianity: positive and negative aspects of Byzantine art.

E. Music at time of Ambrose, later Gregorian chants.

II. The Church in the World: Economic, Social, Political.

How to be in the world but not of it.

A. Generosity of early church.

B. Ambivalence in Middle Ages about material goods; asceticism and luxury.

C. Economic controls to protect the weak.

D. Emphasis on work well done.

E. Care for social needs: e.g. hospitals.

F. Meaning of Christendom; attendant problems. Lorenzetti’s Allegory of Good and Bad Government.

III. Artistic Achievements

A. Close relation between church and society in art and life: e.g. reign of Charlemagne.

B. Basis of unified European culture laid by Charlemagne.

C. Birth and flowering of Romanesque architecture.

D. Birth and flowering of Gothic architecture.

IV. Links Between Philosophical, Theological, and Spiritual Developments on Eve of Renaissance

A. Aquinas’ emphasis on Aristotle.

1. Negative aspect: individual things, the particulars, tended to be made independent, autonomous.

2. With this came the loss of adequate meaning for the individual things, including Man, morals, values, and law.

B. Church’s deviation from early church’s teaching in regard to authority and the approach to God.

C. Reaction of Wycliffe and Hus to theological distortions is prophetic of Reformation.

Questions

1. Summarize the negative and positive aspects of church influence in the Middle Ages.

2. “To speak of distortions of belief in the Middle Ages is to pretend that the church should have stood still when the apostles died. But we have to adapt to new circumstances and ideas. The medieval church did.” Comment.

3. Apply the particulars-universals discussion to modern circumstances. How do people repeat the same mistakes nowadays? Be specific.

Key Events and Persons

Aristotle: 384-322 B.C.

Ambrose: 339-397

Alcuin of York: 735-804

Charlemagne reign: c. 768-814

Crowned Emperor: 800

Romanesque style: 1000-1150

Gothic style: 1150-1250

St. Denis: 1140-

St. Francis: c. 1181-1226

Chartres: 1194-

Aquinas: 1225-1274

John Wycliffe: c. 1320-1384

John Hus: 1369-1415

Further Study

H. Fichtenau, The Carolingian Empire (1954).

Gordon Leff, Medieval Thought (1958).

C.S. Lewis, The Discarded Image (1964).

E.K. Rand, Founders of the Middle Ages (1954).

O. vonSimson, The Gothic Cathedral (1964).

R.W. Southern, The Making of the Middle Ages (1953).

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Francis Schaeffer pictured below

Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation”episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” episode 6 “The Scientific Age” episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” ,  episode 4 “The Reformation” episode 3 “The Renaissance”episode 2 “The Middle Ages,”, and  episode 1 “The Roman Age,” . My favorite episodes are number 7 and 8 since they deal with modern art and culture primarily.(Joe Carter rightly noted, “Schaefferwho always claimed to be an evangelist and not aphilosopher—was often criticized for the way his work oversimplifiedintellectual history and philosophy.” To those critics I say take a chill pillbecause Schaeffer was introducing millions into the fields of art andculture!!!! !!! More people need to read his works and blog about thembecause they show how people’s worldviews affect their lives!

J.I.PACKER WROTE OF SCHAEFFER, “His communicative style was not thaofcautious academiwho labors foexhaustive coverage and dispassionate objectivity. It was rather that of an impassioned thinker who paints his vision of eternal truth in bold strokes and stark contrasts.Yet it is a fact that MANY YOUNG THINKERS AND ARTISTS…HAVE FOUND SCHAEFFER’S ANALYSES A LIFELINE TO SANITY WITHOUT WHICH THEY COULD NOT HAVE GONE ON LIVING.”

Francis Schaeffer’s works  are the basis for a large portion of my blog posts andthey have stood the test of time. In fact, many people would say that many of thethings he wrote in the 1960′s  were right on  in the sense he saw where ourwestern society was heading and he knew that abortion, infanticide and youthenthansia were  moral boundaries we would be crossing  in the coming decadesbecause of humanism and these are the discussions we are having now!)

There is evidence that points to the fact that the Bible is historically true asSchaeffer pointed out in episode 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACEThere is a basis then for faith in Christ alone for our eternal hope. This link shows how to do that.

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Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

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Francis Schaeffer with his son Franky pictured below. Francis and Edith (whopassed away in 2013) opened L’ Abri in 1955 in Switzerland.

TODAY’S FEATURE IS ON THE ARTIST “TONY OURSLER”

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Tony Oursler pictured below:

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Tony Oursler

560 x 42055KBartnet.com

TateShots: Tony Oursler

Uploaded on Jan 10, 2011

TateShots met Tony Oursler shortly after the opening of a solo show at Lehmann Maupin Gallery in New York.

Oursler, who describes his work as a physical embodiment of a thought, took us on a tour of his studio, showing us what inspires him and how this manifests in his work. TateShots was also given a preview of what Oursler currently has in development.

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In this clip above at the 2:00 mark Tony Oursler said:
This is a spirit trumpet and it is used to listen to spirits. My characters tend to exist in existential places, somewhat tortured, struggling and I suppose I struggle through the work and through the world to various understandings. Keep in mind there is a lot of humor in the work as well. I am not really a pessimist.
At the 3:50 mark in the above clip Oursler noted, “I love the idea that you can somehow technically describe human behavior essentially in this project. There is an absurdity to that, but also fragile and human about the desire to understand ourselves.” (Romans 1 has a good understanding of the human being and the mannishness of the man and the universe that he must come to grips with.)
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When I read this about Tony Oursler and his words, “This is a spirit trumpet and it is used to listen to spirits. My characters tend to exist in existential places, somewhat tortured, struggling and I suppose I struggle through the work and through the world to various understandings…” then I thought about the mannishness of man and this article below. It seems Tony is struggling to hear “the spirits” and that his characters are somewhat tortured for the reason that they have not found their proper God-given place in this world:
Romans 1:18-21
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
This entry is part 2 of 2 in the seriesTwo Things No One Can Deny

Yesterday I wrote about the existence of the external world. This is something that every person has to wrestle with. We can’t deny the existence and the form of the world around us, though some have tried. Even those who deny the external world are still forced to live within it. This unflinching reality is an absolute that all people must take into account. They can believe what they want, but they still have to account for the world’s existence and form.

Vitruvian ManIn this post I will explore a second reality that no one can deny—a concept thatFrancis Schaeffer referred to as the “mannishness” of man. As ridiculous as that phrasing sounds, all Schaeffer was saying is that human beings are unique. We know we are. There’s something special about us, and we have to wrestle with what makes us special and why we can’t shake the feeling that we are somehow qualitatively different than the rest of the natural world.

As an example, take the human personality. What exactly is a personality? Why do we each have one? Why are we able to relate to one another in a personal way? If this world were nothing more than the product of time plus chance, then there would be absolutely no way to account for the existence of personality. There is simply no way to get something personal out of something impersonal. It doesn’t matter how much time you give it or how creative you believe chance to be.

Nor can personality be accounted for in a pantheistic worldview. If God is everything and everything is God, then God is ultimately impersonal. We may well believe that everything is connected, that we are all part of the “infinite everything,” but if we choose to believe this we are forfeiting any hope of explaining human personality. The best we can do here is believe that personality is an illusion that must be overcome.

Unless our worldview adequately explains the personality of mankind—his ability to relate personally with other personal beings, his ability to love, to show compassion, his moral motions, his will, etc.—then our worldview does not fit the world that exists.

From a Darwinian perspective, it has been said that personality can be accounted for in terms of survival of the fittest. People developed emotions because they saw that this would help them survive and master the other creatures. But this is a stretch. It is not at all clear that the first person to develop emotions would have an evolutionary advantage. In fact, if you developed compassion in a world in which no one else felt compassion, you would be at a huge disadvantage. If you developed the ability to love, but no other being on earth possessed the ability to love you in return, you would be digging yourself a whole. Personality simply cannot be accounted for in a Darwinian framework.

The Christian worldview, on the other hand, offers a satisfying explanation of the unique nature of humanity. This world began with a personal God, and this personal God created personal beings according to his image. Man is a created being like everything else in creation. But the Bible is clear that man is unique in that he alone is made in God’s image. This explains the indefinable qualities of human beings, and it perfectly explains the existence of personality.

As I said in yesterday’s post, this undeniable “mannishness” of man is on our side, working on our behalf in the minds of those we are reaching out to. We want them to see the world as it truly is. They can choose to believe in a non-Christian worldview, but they still have to live in the world that God made. This means that at every turn they are living in a world that was formed by the God of the Bible, and they find in themselves and in the people around them an undeniable quality that cannot be explained apart from the personal God who exists and lovingly formed them. They will attempt to suppress this truth (see Romans 1), but it will continue to fight its way into their consciousness, like a thorn in the brain that points them always to the Truth.

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Now lets take a look at another art piece from Tony Oursler:

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Tony Oursler is known for his fractured-narrative handmade video tapes including
The Loner, 1980 and EVOL 1984. These works involve elaborate sound tracks,
painted sets, stop-action animation and optical special effects created by the artist.
The early videotapes have been exhibited extensively in alternative spaces and museums..
His early installation works are immersive dark-room environments with video, sound,
and language mixed with colorful constructed sculptural elements. In these projects,
Oursler experimented with methods of removing the moving image from the video monitor
using reflections in water, mirrors, glass and other devices..” – from wikipedia
Still

EVOL, 1984

By Billy Rubin
Published in Vox Vernacular
Feb. 24, 2014

“Love” spelled backwards is the title of this work. EVOL also refers to the word evolution and the contradictory aspect of the relationship between individual and collective experience. Each person must evolve within his or her own lifespan-metaphorically crawling out of the swamp-yet we are all part of a larger chain of events. The cultural construct of love as unique and highly personal yet a shared and common fantasy is emblematic of these two coexisting perspectives. EVOL charts the territory between our passion-charged personal narratives and the near impossibility of representing that desire visually or linguistically, the end result often being nothing more than banal cultural cliche?s. The imagery of this tape is densely layered, as Oursler demonstrates his theory that narrative is multidimensional and non-linear. Hallmark Valentine’s cards, the Madonna and Child, pop songs, newspaper advice columns, super hallucinogens, sex tourism, sperm donors and a primitive high-school play blur together in a cauldron of personal desires and obsessions. EVOL was shot on an enormous soundstage in Buffalo, NY, allowing wild shifts in perspective and scale as actors and figurines become interchangeable. The camera moves fluidly through colorful sets constructed and connected in sequence for filming multiple scenes continuously, thereby minimizing edits. This work has a relatively large cast featuring, among others, Tony Conrad, Constance DeJong, Tony Labat and Mike Kelley.

This art by Tony Oursler makes me think of this quote from Schaeffer. Francis Schaeffer in Art and the Bible noted, “Many modern artists, it seems to me, have forgotten the value that art has in itself. Much modern art is far too intellectual to be great art. Many modern artists seem not to see the distinction between man and non-man, and it is a part of the lostness of modern man that they no longer see value in the work of art as a work of art.” 

Many modern artists are left in this point of desperation that Schaeffer points out and it reminds me of the despair that Solomon speaks of in Ecclesiastes.  Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘under the sun.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.” THIS IS EXACT POINT SCHAEFFER SAYS SECULAR ARTISTS ARE PAINTING FROM TODAY BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED ARE A RESULT OF MINDLESS CHANCE. Why else would Tony Oursler name his art video in 1984 EVOL? I know that I am repeating myself but the point is so strong it bears repeating. When I read this about Tony Oursler and his words, “This is a spirit trumpet and it is used to listen to spirits. My characters tend to exist in existential places, somewhat tortured, struggling and I suppose I struggle through the work and through the world to various understandings…” then I thought about the mannishness of man and Francis Schaeffer’s closing statement in the film HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? which you will find below. It seems Tony is struggling to hear “the spirits” and that his characters are somewhat tortured for the reason that they have not found their proper God-given place in this world:

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical flow of Truth & History (intro)

Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of Truth & History (part 2)

Uploaded on Oct 3, 2010

No description available.

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Francis Schaeffer in his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? noted:

The biblical message is truth and it demands commitment to truth. It means that everything is not the result of the impersonal plus time plus chance, but that there is an infinite-personal God who is the Creator of the universe, the space-time continuum. We should not forget that this was what the founders of modern science built upon. It means the acceptance of Christ as Savior and Lord, and it means living under God’s revelation. Here there are morals, values, and meaning, including meaning for people, which are not just a result of statistical averages. This is neither a utilitarianism, nor a leap away from reason; it is the truth that gives a unity to all of knowledge and all of life. This second alternative means that individuals come to the place where they have this base, and they influence the consensus. Such Christians do not need to be a majority in order for this influence on society to occur.”

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode 10 – Final Choices

At the 22:56 mark in the above video Francis Schaeffer said:

In about A.D. 60, a Jew who was a Christian and who also knew the Greek and Roman thinking of his day wrote a letter to those who lived in Rome. Previously, he had said the same things to Greek thinkers while speaking on Mars Hill in Athens. He had spoken with the Acropolis above him and the ancient marketplace below him, in the place wherethe thinkers of Athens met for discussion. A plaque marks that spot today and gives his talk in the common Greek spoken in his day. He was interrupted in his talk in Athens, but his Letter to the Romans gives us without interruption what he had to say to the thinking people of that period.

He said that the integration points of the Greek and Roman world view were not enough to answer the questions posed either by the existence of the universe and its form, or by the uniqueness of man. He said that they deserved judgment because they knew that they did not have an adequate answer to the questions raised by the universe or by the existence of man, and yet they refused, they suppressed, that which is the answer. To quote his letter:

The retribution of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness. Because that which is known of God is evident within them [that is, the uniqueness of man in contrast to non-man], for God made it evident to them. For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived by the things that are made [that is, the existence of the universe and its form], even his eternal power and divinity; so that they are without excuse. [Roman 1:18ff.]

Here he is saying that the universe and its form and the mannishness of man speak the same truth that the Bible gives in greater detail. That this God exists and that he has not been silent but has spoken to people in the Bible and through Christ was the basis for the return to a more fully biblical Christianity in the days of the Reformers. It was a message of the possibility that people could return to God on the basis of the death of Christ alone. But with it came many other realities, including form and freedom in the culture and society built on that more biblical Christianity. The freedom brought forth was titanic, and yet, with the forms given in the Scripture, the freedoms did not lead to chaos. And it is this which can give us hope for the future. It is either this or an imposed order.

As I have said in the first chapter, people function on the basis of their world view more consistently than even they themselves may realize. The problem is not outward things. The problem is having, and then acting upon, the right world view — the world view which gives men and women the truth of what is.

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This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately, especially if potentially libelous or harmful. (September 2010)
Tony Oursler
Born 1957
New York City
Nationality American
Field Video artperformance artinstallation art
Training 1979 California Institute of the Arts, B.F.A

Tony Oursler (born 1957) is a multimedia and installation artist. He completed a BA in fine arts at the California Institute for the Arts, Valencia, California in 1979. His art covers a range of mediums working with video, sculpture, installation, performance and painting. Oursler’s work has been exhibited in prestigious institutions including the Walker Art CenterMinneapolis; Documenta VIII, IX, Kassel; Museum of Modern Art, New YorkWhitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; The D.O.P. Private Foundation, Caracas; the Carnegie Museum of ArtPittsburghSkulptur Projekte MünsterMuseum LudwigCologne; the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC; the Tate, Liverpool. The artist currently lives and works in New York City.

Life and career

Tapes, Installations: 1977-1989

Tony Oursler is known for his fractured-narrative handmade video tapes including The Loner, 1980 and EVOL 1984. These works involve elaborate sound tracks, painted sets, stop-action animation and optical special effects created by the artist. The early videotapes have been exhibited extensively in alternative spaces and museums, they are distributed by Electronic Arts Intermix.[1] His early installation works are immersive dark-room environments with video, sound, and language mixed with colorful constructed sculptural elements. In these projects, Oursler experimented with methods of removing the moving image from the video monitor using reflections in water, mirrors, glass and other devices. For example, “L-7, L-5”, exhibited at the Kitchen NYC 1983, used the translucent quality of video reflected on broken glass.

Projection: 1991

Oursler began working with small LCD video projectors in 1991 in his installation “The Watching” presented at Documenta 9, featuring his first video doll and dummy. This work utilizes handmade soft cloth figures combined with expressive faces animated by video projection. Oursler then produced a series of installations that combined found objects and video projections. “Judy”, 1993, explored the relationship between multiple personality disorder and mass media. “Get Away II” features a passive/aggressive projected figure wedged under a mattress that confronts the viewer with blunt direct address. These installations led to great popular and critical acclaim.[citation needed]

Signature works have been his talking lights, such as Streetlight (1997), his series of video sculptures of eyes with television screens reflected in the pupils, and ominous talking heads such as Composite Still Life (1999). An installation called Optics (1999) examines the polarity between dark and light in the history of the camera obscura. In his text “Time Stream”, Oursler proposed that architecture and moving image installation have been forever linked by the camera obscura noting that cave dwellers observed the world as projections via peep holes. Oursler’s interest in the ephemeral history of the virtual image lead to large scale public projects and permanent installations by 2000.[2]

Public Projects: 2000-2009

The Public Art Fund and Artangel commissioned the “Influence Machine” in 2000.[3] This installation marks the artist’s first major outdoor project and thematically traced the development of successive communication devices from the telegraph to the personal computer as a means of speaking with the dead. Oursler used smoke, trees and buildings as projection screens in Madison Square Park NYC and Soho Square London. He then completed a number of permanent public projects in Barcelona, New Zealand, Arizona including “Braincast” at the Seattle Public Library. He is scheduled to complete a commission at the Frank Sinatra High School in Astoria, New York.[4]

2010 exhibitions

From October–December 2010, the Lehmann Maupin Gallery hosted Oursler’s exhibition entitled “Peak”.[5] The exhibition was timed with Oursler’s Valley, the inaugural exhibition of the Adobe Museum of Digital Media.

Collaborations

Oursler is part of the musical and performance group, “Poetics”, with fellow California Institute of the Arts students Mike Kelley and John Miller.[6]

Oursler created the background videos that played at David Bowie‘s 50th birthday party concert[7] in 1997, as well as the video to accompany Bowie’s single “Where Are We Now?“, released in January 2013.[8]

Galleries

Film and video

See videos Electronic Arts Intermix [10]

  • “Tony Oursler Video Projections” by Tony Oursler, Inner-Tube Videos. 2002, 27 minutes, Color. NY: Inner-Tube Videos.

References

  1. Jump up ^ “The Loner, Tony Oursler”. Electronic Arts Intermix. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
  2. Jump up ^ Fineartkmv.com[dead link]
  3. Jump up ^ “The Influence Machine homepage”. Artangel. Retrieved October 9, 2010.
  4. Jump up ^ “Tony Oursler”. NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. February 16, 2011. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
  5. Jump up ^ “Tony Oursler”. Lehmann Maupin. Retrieved November 24, 2013.
  6. Jump up ^ LehmannMaupin.com[dead link]
  7. Jump up ^ Kemp, Mark (March 6, 1997), “All The Young Dudes”, Rolling Stone (755): 24
  8. Jump up ^ “David Bowie releases first single in a decade”. BBC News. January 8, 2013. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
  9. Jump up ^ “Oursler”. Gallery Paule Anglim. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
  10. Jump up ^ “Tony Oursler”. Electronic Arts Intermix. Retrieved November 24, 2013.

External links

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Tony Oursler – Face to Face at ARoS

Published on Mar 2, 2012

Interview with the video artist Tony Oursler in relation to the exhibition Face to Face at ARoS 2012.
Tony Oursler (b. 1957) will be familiar to many on account of works such as “Unk”, which Oursler created for The 9 Rooms in ARoS in 2004. In the exhibition Face to Face, visitors to the museum can come face to face with the New York artist’s remarkable universe, in which Oursler, using humour as his tool, balances his art works on the borderline to madness.

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Tony Oursler: Collaborating with David Bowie

Tony Oursler at PinchukArtCentre in Kyiv

Published on Feb 17, 2013

Tony Oursler’s exhibition “agentic iced etcetera” at the PinchukArtCentre in Kyiv, Ukraine is the first major solo exhibition by the artist in Eastern Europe. Tony Oursler’s “agentic iced etcetera” presents specially produced new works, including a Ukrainian speaking installation, as well as some of the most iconic pieces of the artist. The New York-based artist has been a pioneer of New Media and video art. Tony Oursler is especially known for projecting moving images onto objects. In this video, Eckhard Schneider (General Director, PinchukArtCenter) talks about the mission of PinchukArtCentre, and Bjorn Geldhof (Deputy Artistic Director, PinchukArtCenter) speaks about the significance of Tony Oursler’s work. Finally Tony Oursler talks in detail about the specially produced new works. The show runs until April 21, 2013.

As Eckhard Schneider, General Director of the PinchukArtCentre states: “Tony Oursler (born 1957) is one of the pioneers of the genre. For Oursler video is a medium comparable to water in its extreme fluidity, one that had remained imprisoned within television for fifty years. He has not only succeeded in liberating video from the screen, but also in developing it into video sculpture. His works are introspections on the human psyche under the influence of mass media. The majority of the work that will be on show has been created especially for the PinchukArtCentre — a dramatic labyrinth of sensations.”

PinchukArtCentre is an international centre for contemporary art of the 21st century in Kyiv, the capital and largest city of Ukraine. It was opened in 2006 by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation.

Tony Oursler: agentic iced etcetera at PinchukArtCenter, Kiev (Ukraine). Interview with Eckhard Schneider, Tony Oursler and Bjorn Geldhof, February 15, 2013. Video by Frantisek Zachoval.

Oursler is today among the most important as well as the most influential artists of the present day. Formally, Oursler has developed a wide-ranging use of materials such as resin, glass, fabric, steel and various found objects, which are kaleidoscopically overlaid with projection, light and sound, forming a unique embodiment of his themes.

Projecting moving images onto objects, Oursler moves beyond traditional uses of media such as cinema, television and the computer and creates something akin to “living” sculptures. The scenarios he devises are often full of poetic and humorous performances, incorporating all manner of physical and auditory representations of the human form.

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