The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago presents Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination, the artist’s first comprehensive U.S. exhibit.
Thater’s dynamic, immersive installations address key issues that span the realms of film, museum exhibitions, the natural sciences, and contemporary culture through the use of movement, scale, and architecture. The exhibition, comprising 22 works from the early 1990s through 2015, depicts a range of natural phenomena—such as dolphins in their fluid underwater world; honeybees, who communicate through dancing; and monkeys and humans bridging a nebulous boundary between the tamed and the wild in Jaipur’s Galtaji Temple. Thater’s works explore the subjectivity of animals and the complex relationships humans have constructed with nature and speaks to key issues such as ethics, bio-ecology, the environment, earth sciences, and the Anthropocene.
A hallmark of the artist’s innovative installations is the nuanced merging of projected imagery to an architectural site so that viewers are literally immersed in the work. Experiencing these installations kinetically, viscerally, and psychically rather than by observing passively from a distance, visitors enter into an active dialogue with work that is challenging and engaging.
Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination is running now through January 8, 2017.