Every three years, the king of contemporary art in New York City, the New Museum, has a full-building show that celebrates the forever growing world and its malformations. This years show, named Surround Audience, has a piece by Oliver Laric which exemplifies this idea in his untitled six minute animation made in 2014. This video consists of multiple scenes taken from cartoons and anime re-touched and put on a blank background; each clip consists of some sort of transformation, whether from one animal to another, or from human to beast. This work stays with the show’s general theme of transience, and seems to use these animations as a symbol for the world around us and us ourselves.
That goal is achieved, but it seems to be the only real Idea that this piece is able to accomplish. Oliver Laric’s work consistently tries to redefine and modernize classic, and essentially, older art. This piece seems to go down a more or less similar path by trying to redefine these animations through putting on them on display in a high class setting, with new work done to them. Although I see the effort, all it really does is reiterate the original meaning of these scenes. While looking at the clips, I found that seeing something I had seen before only reminded me of the context I had found it in originally. The new setting didn’t help me evaluate the animations deeper. It just showed me them.
All in all, I actually did like this piece. Every person interprets art differently, and that applies to this animation especially well. Any piece of art that can capture my attention is good in my book.
The full New Museum Triennial will be on view February 25th to May 24th, 2015. The exhibition will be partially open through June 7th, 2015.