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Published on the occasion of Tony Ourlser’s Phantamagoria exhibition at MAC’s in 2013, this original work refers to the theatrical phantasmagorias created by Etienne Gaspard Robertson in the 18th century. Like the installation he made for MAC’s, here Tony Oursler creates phantasmagoria which deconstruct the past while leaving space for fear (metaphorically), so that viewers can reflect on the very idea of horror engendered daily by the ever more powerful tide of media. Oursler imagines a contemporary phantasmagoria, in whose center a diabolical figure emerges from the smoke. Images of video games of war evoke the consumption of horror in the form of entertainment, while the presence of the snake at the top of the image refers to the reptilian brain considered responsible for primitive instincts such as fear, hatred and survival instinct.
The MAC’s is housed within the former Grand-Hornu colliery, a monument of European industrial heritage that was designated as UNESCO world heritage in 2012. Since the museum opened in 2002, it has welcomed over a million visitors, produced more than 85 exhibitions and promoted numerous artists from the region.