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Maker(s):Oursler, Tony
Culture:American (1957-)
Title:Surveillance; Alien/ Houston St. Deli from the Exit Art portfolio Exit 99
Date Made:1999
Type:Print; Photograph
Materials:Screenprint on Somerset velvet 300g, Four-color separation
Measurements:Mat: 33 1/2 in x 24 3/4 in; 85.1 cm x 62.9 cm; Sheet: 30 in x 22 in; 76.2 cm x 55.9 cm; Image: 25 in x 16 3/4 in; 63.5 cm x 42.5 cm
Narrative Inscription:  SIGNAURE: front, lwr. r. (graphite): Tony Oursler; EDITION: front, lwr. l. (graphite): 46/50
Accession Number:  UM 2012.6.1.6
Credit Line:Gift of Exit Art, New York
Museum Collection:  University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

Label Text:
Curatorial Fellowship exhibition: What's So Funny: How Humor Makes Us Think, March 21 - April 28, 2019
Oursler is a multimedia and installation artist. The bizarre and comedic image of an extra-terrestrial shopping in a deli on Houston Street is presented in, what was Oursler’s first silkscreen. Staring straight out, an alien watches over a convenience store with an unblinking gaze. One might imagine it is this figure studying us, before a closer look reveals that the alien is a stuffed doll. It distracts a visitor from another, unknown presence: the viewer behind the video camera, red light on and filming, always present. Oursler has explored the impact of mass media and visual technology on individuals and our society throughout his career. In his multimedia and video works, Oursler often combines his examination of the human psyche with a dark humor, juxtaposing the disturbing and the amusing to evoke reaction from participants in his art. The idea, even fear, of otherworldly aliens studying humankind is ubiquitous in American culture. Here, Oursler asks: is it the alien you should be afraid of or the surveillance already always around you?
- Kayla Peterson (M.A. Art History, 2020) and Siyu Shen (M.A. Art History, 2020)

food; drinks; humor; stores; cameras; costume; technology; social commentary; extraterrestrial beings

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