Oliver Laric at Tanya Leighton / Berlin

Oliver Laric / Year of the Dog

April 28 – 23 June, 2018

Tanya Leighton
Kurfürstenstraße 156 & 24/25
10785 Berlin

Photo credit: Gunter Lepkowski
Images courtesy of the artist and Tanya Leighton

For Gallery Weekend Berlin 2018 Tanya Leighton is proud to host the European debut of Oliver Laric’s latest video,
Betweenness, 2018. The animated video is projected continuously alongside a new group of cast resin sculptures. All
Hundemensch, 2018, they depict a figure with the head of a dog and the body of a human, protectively holding a
smaller dog in its arms.

Guided by a selective and distinctive appropriation of history, art history and popular culture, Laric has long worked to
collapse categories and undermine beliefs about authorship and authenticity. In his most recent work, Laric focuses
these larger inquiries on the replication and mutation of forms and ideas, as well as the unstable terms that define their
meaning and interpretation. His ongoing research into hybridity and transmutation has come to form a central thread in
his practice.

Betweenness levels the artist’s far-reaching pool of source material, repurposing characters from anime, mushrooms
growing in time-lapse, multiplying cells, people morphing into animals and marching soldier ants. Though pulled from a
wealth of sources, these clips all highlight moments in time that might otherwise be imperceptible. Rather than being
drawn anew in each frame as in traditional animation, Laric’s subjects are digitally plotted by the same stark, vectorized
line, which moves continually between sequences. This potentially infinitely shifting line echoes the subject matter of the
sequences being displayed on screen, suggesting a limitless number of unique permutations. A soundtrack composed by
Ville Haimala of Amnesia Scanner accompanies the animation, weaving itself into the unfolding narrative. The resulting
artwork is suggestive of instability, metamorphosis, a liberating flexibility and the power of multiplicity.

The ‘Hundemenschen’ sculptures are cast in striated layers of pigmented resin. Unlike many of Laric’s recent sculptures
that draw from specific art historical examples, the subject matter of these sculptures has been derived by a melding of
sources, from prehistoric to contemporary. The artist scoured the long history of anthropomorphic sculpture, using these
reference points to contribute his own addition to the genre. This 3D model was then used to cast the sculptures on view.
The ‘Hundemenschen’ are beguiling figures, with a second layer of symbolism seen just below their polished surfaces –
salamanders, crabs and human ears are suspended inside of them.

Oliver Laric (b. 1981, Innsbruck, lives and works in Berlin) has upcoming one-person exhibitions at the St. Louis Art
Museum; S.M.A.K., Ghent; and Kunstverein Braunschweig. Past solo exhibitions include: Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin;
Secession, Vienna; Austrian Cultural Forum, London; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; and
the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge. His work has been included in group exhibitions at the Whitechapel Gallery,
London; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Fridericianum, Kassel; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Kunstverein München; and
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. He participated in the 2016 Liverpool Biennial, and his video Untitled (2014-15)
was included in the 2015 New Museum Triennial. His work will be shown in the 2018 São Paulo Bienal.