Exoskeleton

Oliver Laric

Exoskeleton, 2022

Exoskeleton (2022), Laric’s latest video, merges different layers of animation, including scalable vector lines drawn in After Effects, 3D stop-motion modeled frame by frame, and pixel-based illustrations. The work questions the permanence of forms, depicting matter as never fixed and instead subject to continuous transformation and becoming. Objects, animals, and humans are no longer static or clearly distinguishable entities. They are depicted as hybrid creatures which mutate from character to character, from person to object, and from animal to machine. Human and non-human classification is rendered obsolete, favoring instead a more complex understanding of organisms and species.

By introducing different animation techniques and color, compared to Laric’s previous time-based works, Exoskeleton becomes more painterly and layered. Silhouettes of people, animals, and organisms morph into one another while appearing and disappearing under or in front of 3D stop-motion inserts. With its title derived from other existing works made by the artist, Exoskeleton, continues Laric’s exploration of the idea of a version as a constantly evolving form, pointing to the interdependency between forms and subjects; may these be found in nature or culture. Accompanied by a soundtrack composed by Ville Haimala, with whom Laric regularly collaborates, the work can be perceived as an immersive visual poem.

Oliver Laric has exhibited his work at S.M.A.K. (Ghent), Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, Guggenheim (Bilbao, Spain), São Paulo Biennale, ICA Boston, Centre Pompidou (Paris), Whitechapel Gallery (London), ExtraCity Kunsthalle (Antwerp), Kunstlerhouse Benthanien (Berlin), Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Saint Louis Art Museum (St. Louis, Missouri), among others. Laric's work is part of the collection of the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN), Nouveau Musée National de Monaco (Monaco), MUMOK (Vienna), Ferdinandeum (Innsbruck, Austria), Kunsthaus Bregenz (Bregenz, Austria), The Collection Museum (Lincoln, UK), Kunstsammlung (Dusseldorf, Germnay), Museum für Moderne Kunst (Frankfurt, Germany), Cleveland Art Museum (Cleveland, Ohio), Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington, D.C.), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), Frac Bretagne (Rennes, France), among others.