MMPI (Self-Portrait in Yellow)
MMPI (Self-Portrait in Yellow), 1996
Video installation with video projector, VCR, video tape, small cloth figure, and metal folding chair
Purchase, with funds from Donald and Donna Baumgartner, Marianne and Sheldon B. Lubar, Allen and Vicki Samson, Dr. and Mrs. Philip Shovers, and Sibyl and David Wescoe M1998.136a-i
Photo credit Larry Sanders
New York video artist Tony Oursler is best known for projecting video images of faces on dolls, mannequins, and disembodied heads, thereby bringing to life these otherwise inanimate objects. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), a diagnostic tool developed in the 1950s as a test for mental health, is based on the discovery that individuals with similar mental disorders frequently answer the same questions in similar ways. In MMPI (Self-Portrait in Yellow), the projected image shows the artist reciting the test questions. Trapping the head under a folding chair adds to the psychological tension of the work.
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