Oliver Laric (AT)

Oliver Laric - Hundemensch (2018)
Hybrids (2018)
Photography Gert Jan van Rooij

Oliver Laric – Hundemensch (2018)

Oliver Laric (b. Innsbruck, Austria, 1981, lives and works in Berlin) founded the art blog VVORK in 2006, which showed an image of a work of art every day, along with a link to the site it came from. This site was a response to the huge availability of images on the internet. In 2009 Laric placed his video essay Versions on the site, a manifesto that argues that images have always been recycled and that copies have a cultural value all of their own.

His sculptural art is based on the same idea. He brings typical characteristics of the digital domain, such as simple reproducibility, endless possibilities for variation and very fast distribution, into the physical space. First he makes 3D scans of historical sculptural works from various museums and galleries, and then he produces physical reproductions. The 3D data that he generates in the process are made available on his website, threedscans.com. Not only does Laric allow his art to be part of the modern ‘share culture’, he also undermines the notion of the authenticity of the artwork.

Laric’s sculptures in which human forms are interwoven with those of animals are an expression of his opinion that authenticity is not bound to one reality or story and that forms can be interpreted, combined and modified in an infinite number of ways. These works are not derived from existing sculptures. Inspired by objects and images of anthropomorphous figures dating from the period of prehistory up to the 19th century, he makes drawings that are then turned into 3D models.

For Hybrids, he made a transparent sculpture out of UV-resistant plastic, called Crystal Clear. In the sculpture, which is sixty centimetres tall, the viewer can recognise a hybrid form of human and dog. On the inside of the hollow sculpture, there are a frog, an ear and a crab. To produce this work, Laric first made 3D prints of the various shapes, and then a scan of these combined prints. Finally, on the basis of a 3D print of this scan, classic moulds were made and used for casting the sculpture. This is a very hybrid production process, in which digital and analogue techniques have been used alongside one another.

Metamorphosis and transmogrification, the process of a complete change in form in order to adapt to changing circumstances, is what fascinates Laric and what he depicts using digital technology. Art history and technology, past and future, combine in Laric’s universe, where form and content merge completely and chronology no longer appears to play a role.