Betweenness – neither here nor there

With his use of multimedia and the internet, Oliver Laric is a modern artist par excellence. Recently Modern Forms of London, a private organization that promotes artists and art institutions, bequeathed the Stedelijk Museum of Amsterdam with his video “Betweenness” (2018), in which the 40-year-old Austrian mesmerizes his audiences with perpetual movements of shapes and forms. In honor of the new acquisition, the Stedelijk will host an exhibition of Laric’s Betweenness – the artist’s first solo exhibition in the Netherlands – which opens on 2 October 2021 and runs until 9 January 2022.

Laric studied at the University of Applied Art in Vienna and now works in Berlin. He is inspired by classical Greek and Roman statues, and transforms his work from the digital realm to the analogue one through 3D printing. His images flow from one into another with subtility and finesse. In the exhibition “Betweenness”, Laric expands on the matter of authenticity and authorship in art, which is a theme he had regularly addressed in previous works. By addressing the question how original art is, he illustrates, with the use of video, how visual representations throughout history have been continuously reused and recycled and turned into new forms of art.

“Betweenness”, a high-definition video of 4 minutes and 35 seconds, shows the moment between two forms. Laric’s main characters continuously transform between animals, plants, fungi and human-like figures by constantly metamorphizing in shape and size. For “Betweenness” Laric used existing material, and redrew each frame, creating ever-changing configurations of lines that morph into new images, such as a teapot that transforms into a chicken and a crab held in a person’s hand that gently converts into a sparkling star. “Betweenness” is the realm between two forms, which is often the case in life, as life is an ever-changing existence from one form into another. It is never constant. With a complete loss of time, the viewer becomes hypnotized, as if going into a timeless state of trance.

Oliver Laric, “Betweenness”
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
2 October 2021 – 9 January 2022

Written by Benjamin Roberts