Closed circuit television surveillance has become a standard feature in the lives of London dwellers, and indeed, in the lives of city inhabitants all across the modern world. It is not uncommon for people to find themselves faced with their own image on a screen, be it in a shop, bus or on the tube: the pandemic of surveillance is yet another aspect of everyday life that we subconsciously push to the peripherals of our awareness.
Tony Oursler’s upcoming solo exhibition at the Lisson Gallery promises to bring our relationship with surveillance in the digital age to the forefront of our consciousness in a multimedia assault on the senses; entitled ‘template/variant/friend/stranger’, the exhibition will explore the relationship between identity and facial recognition technology, inviting the viewer to “glimpse themselves from another perspective, that of the machines we have recently created”.
The exhibition will feature a series of portraits reduced to colourful silhouettes, bearing networks of marks and nodes that correspond with the facial recognition systems used by border controls, law enforcement agencies, and even ATM machines.
Having begun his career in the early 80s, Oursler has witnessed first-hand the evolution of surveillance technology over the past three decades. Known for working primarily through the medium of film, Oursler has combined scientific studies in physiognomy and anthropometry with art to produce what promises to be a thought provoking collection of images and installations.
The exhibition will run at the Lisson Gallery from 30THJanuary – 7 March 2015, with private views on Thursday 29 January, 6 – 8pm.