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Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible Ocula Report Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible 17 Apr 2019 : Federica Bueti for Ocula

I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...

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Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui Ocula Conversation Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui

The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...

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The National 2019: New Australian Art Ocula Report The National 2019: New Australian Art 13 Apr 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...

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Oliver Laric

b. 1981, Austria

Through sculpture and video, Oliver Laric explores the consumption and production of images in the age of the internet. Modifying pre-existing photographs, animations and sculptures to question authorship and originality, Laric presents that which we might consider to be unique as disturbingly ordinary, underlining the uncertainties of the internet age.

Laric's earliest artwork exists only on the internet in the form of a curated blog called VVORK, which he started in 2006 with fellow University of Applied Arts Vienna alumni Aleksandra Domanović, Christoph Priglinger and Georg Schnitzer. Running actively until 2012, VVORK was a site where Laric and his peers posted images of their artworks. At its peak, the website had over 20,000 daily visitors and sparked heated debates over whether an artwork could be properly experienced without seeing it in the flesh, a topic that remains important and controversial.

For his work Touch My Body: Green Screen Version (2008), which also exists online, Laric sent the music video for Mariah Carey's song by the same name to a company in India and asked them to replace the video's background with a green screen. Laric encouraged internet users to place new content over the green screen, putting the singer in front of backgrounds such as a fried chicken commercial and gory zombie scenes from the 2004 film Sean of the Dead. This project incited the realisation that anything can be sexualised; no material is sacred if it exists on the web.

Further confronting the mutability of images online, and commenting on the media's ability (or lack thereof) to portray the truth, Laric created the video series 'Versions' (2009-2012). In the videos, images of pop culture figures such as NBA basketball stars and basketball players from Japanese manga are juxtaposed to show uncanny similarities. Laric constantly reworked his videos, making a meta-argument that even his own artwork could not be defined as the images it contains are malleable and continuously in flux. At one point, Versions reveals how a photo that was used to illustrate Iran's missile tests in 2008—which appeared in major American newspapers—was digitally manipulated. The image is followed by other fabricated snapshots of the missiles that parody the blurring of reality and fiction in mass media.

Expanding beyond the internet as a mode of distribution, Laric has entered the more tangible world of contemporary art by creating sculptures. Usually 3D scans of historical sculptures, Laric makes them freely available to the public through his website www.threedscans.com, allowing anyone with a knowledge of 3D modelling to modify his works. The Hunter and His Dog, for example, is Laric's sculpture based on John Gibson's 1838 version and was printed with multi-coloured resin for a 2015 exhibition at Tanya Leighton in Berlin. The work has the appearance of an anatomical model, but is also reminiscent of a sort of techno-bot, dovetailing the past with the present.

In 2018, Laric held his first solo exhibition in New York at Metro Pictures Gallery, titled Year of the Dog, which comprised animations and three sculptures. The sculptures, all entitled Hundemensch, were created from the same mould but finished with different colour resins. Unlike his previous sculptural works, the artist was not inspired by a pre-existing sculpture for the Hundemensch works. Instead, Laric cited mythical creatures such as the Hundemensch—the German term for the dog-headed man that appears as architectural ornaments in Romanesque and Gothic cathedrals—as his source of inspiration.

Recent solo shows include exhibitions at the Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri (2019); S.M.A.K, the Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art Ghent, Belgium (2018); Kunstverein Braunschweig, Germany (2018); Metro Pictures Gallery, New York (2018); and Tanya Leighton, Berlin (2018). Other important shows include Photoplastik (2016) at Secession, Vienna; Oliver Laric: Versions at the MIT List Visual Arts Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts (2013); and Triennial: Surround Audience at New York's New Museum in 2015.

Laric lives and works in Berlin.

Deanna Grayson | Ocula | 2018
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Featured Artworks

Hundemensch by Oliver Laric contemporary artwork Oliver LaricHundemensch, 2018 Polyurethane and pigment
53 x 52 x 58 cm
Metro Pictures
Hundemensch by Oliver Laric contemporary artwork Oliver LaricHundemensch, 2018 Polyurethane and pigment
52 x 52 x 58 cm
Metro Pictures
Hundemensch by Oliver Laric contemporary artwork Oliver LaricHundemensch, 2018 Polyurethane and pigment
53 x 52 x 58 cm
Metro Pictures
Pan with Bears by Oliver Laric contemporary artwork Oliver LaricPan with Bears, 2017 stereolithography and selective laser sintering, polyamide, polished epoxy, TuskXC2700T, aluminum base
56.75 x 65.25 x 23.25 cm
Metro Pictures
Mutter mit Kindern by Oliver Laric contemporary artwork Oliver LaricMutter mit Kindern, 2016 Two parts; selective laser sintering, polyamide, aluminum bases
Metro Pictures
Sphinx, Sphinx, Sphinx by Oliver Laric contemporary artwork Oliver LaricSphinx, Sphinx, Sphinx, 2016 selective laser sintering, polyamide, aluminum base
47.25 x 18.12 x 13.75 inches
Metro Pictures
Naturabdruck by Oliver Laric contemporary artwork Oliver LaricNaturabdruck, 2016 selective laser sintering, alumide, aluminum base
35.38 x 15.75 x 11.75 inches
Metro Pictures

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Oliver Laric, Year of the Dog at Metro Pictures, New York
Closed
3 March–14 April 2018 Oliver Laric Year of the Dog Metro Pictures, New York

Represented By

In Related Press

Strange Days review – fishy kisses, naked prancing and ribald revenge Related Press Strange Days review – fishy kisses, naked prancing and ribald revenge The Guardian : 3 October 2018

Strange Days: Memories of the Future is overwhelming: complex, at times annoying and confusing, repetitive, uplifting and baffling. Like life, really. Films and videos by 21 artists are spread over three floors of the Store X on London's Strand.

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Oliver Laric Celebrates the Year Of The Dog At Metro Pictures Related Press Oliver Laric Celebrates the Year Of The Dog At Metro Pictures Forbes : 8 March 2018

Cryptozoology, the study of hidden animals, has its origins in the Greek word kryptos, meaning concealed or enigmatic. According to the International Cryptozoology Museum, located in Portland, Maine, cryptozoology 'has moved from a shadowy world of travelogues to academic respectability and beyond.' How far beyond is uncertain, but the roster of...

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OLIVER LARIC Related Press OLIVER LARIC Artforum : 26 February 2018

I am interested in moving towards uncertainty. My work offers attempts to reinscribe or open up the material I'm looking at and make it less categorical. I feel more comfortable with the idea of objectivity—or even authenticity—when it's not bound to a single reality or single narrative.

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