Akeroyd Collection


Tony Oursler, db, 1997

In db (1997), Tony Oursler continues his exploration of the human condition and the complexities of human emotion by studying the many actual facial expressions of David Bowie. In this work, two miniature cloth figures are arranged in an impromptu and casual setting, arm in arm. They wear brightly patterned cloths, and their heads are formed from grey cloth, stuffed to form an appropriately bulbous surface onto which Bowie's face is projected in duplicate. This is a continuation of a familiar technique of Oursler’s but marks the first time David Bowie becomes a specific subject of the work. In 2013, however, Bowie commissioned Tony Oursler to direct his music video Where are we now? which was recorded in secret at Oursler’s studio in New York City. It was released by ISO and Columbia Records via Bowie’s website without any announcement, as the lead single of his 24th studio album The Next Day on iTunes on 8 January 2013, Bowie’s 66th birthday. The song received significant news coverage and was deemed a welcome return from Bowie’s decade-long hiatus.

MediumVideo, sound, fabric, dimensions variable