Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination

Diana Thater - About the Exhibition

Among the most important figures to emerge during the 1990s, Los Angeles–based artist Diana Thater creates groundbreaking installations that push the physical, optical, and conceptual boundaries of how moving images are experienced. Depicting a range of natural phenomena—such as the weightless, seamless, underwater world of dolphins; honeybees who communicate through dancing; and the surprising fortitude of animals in Chernobyl in the aftermath of the worst nuclear meltdown ever—her works explore the subjectivity of animals and the complex relationships humans have constructed with nature. Thater’s dynamic, immersive installations challenge and invert accepted positions and realities through the deployment of color, movement, scale, and architecture.

The most comprehensive exhibition of her work to date, Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination offers visitors an unprecedented opportunity to survey the artist’s film-, video-, and installation-based works. The exhibition takes its point of departure in the artist’s 1992 breakthrough work Oo Fifi, Five Days in Claude Monet’s Garden, Part 1 and Part 2, in which footage shot at the Fondation Claude Monet in Giverny, France, was broken into the primary colors of video (RGB) and partially reconstructed or projected separately. While the fragmentation of imagery recalls Monet’s own interest in breaking up visual experience, Thater’s work incorporates an interactive dimension, as viewers’ shadows are repetitively rendered in the three hues. The show’s most recent inclusion, Life Is a Time-Based Medium, filmed at the Galtaji Temple in Jaipur, India, is a monumental installation that conflates the actual architecture of the temple with the gallery in which it is shown. Expansive in its scope, Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination traces the evolution of the artist’s celebrated practice and solidifies her standing as a pioneer of film and video art.

This exhibition is included in General Admission. Join now and see it free, or reserve a ticket.

This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Presented by:                 Additional support provided by:
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This exhibition is made possible by Hauser Wirth & Schimmel, David Zwirner, the Pasadena Art Alliance, Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte, and Suzanne and David Johnson.
Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination is part of The Hyundai Project: Art + Technology at LACMA, a joint initiative exploring the convergence of art and technology.
All exhibitions at LACMA are underwritten by the LACMA Exhibition Fund. Major annual support is provided by Kitzia and Richard Goodman, with generous annual funding from Janet Chann and Michael Irwin in memory of George Chann, Louise and Brad Edgerton, Edgerton Foundation, Emily and Teddy Greenspan, Jenna and Jason Grosfeld, Lenore and Richard Wayne, and the Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation.

Diana Thater- Highlights

Life is a Time-Based Medium
Diana Thater
2015
Three video projectors, three lenses, player and Watchout system
Installation Photograph, Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
© Diana Thater
Photo © Fredrik Nilsen
Untitled Videowall (Butterflies)
Diana Thater
2008
Six video monitors, player, one fluorescent light fixture, and Lee filters
Installation Photograph, Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
© Diana Thater
Photo © Fredrik Nilsen
A Cast of Falcons
Diana Thater
2008
Four video projectors, display computer, and two spotlights.
Installation Photograph, Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
© Diana Thater
Photo © Fredrik Nilsen
Delphine

Diana Thater
1999
Four video projectors, five players, nine-monitor video wall, and Lee filters
Installation Photograph, Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination, Los Angeles County Museum of Art
© Diana Thater
Photo © Fredrik Nilsen

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Diana Thater - Blog

A Conversation with Diana Thater
December 7, 2015

Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination, one of the largest shows LACMA has mounted, opened on November 22. Recently, Thater sat down with LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director Michael Govan and co-curators Lynn Cooke and Christine Y. Kim to speak about her practice...

Diana Thater - Video

Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination