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Diana Thater
10 February – 4 April 1999


This exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Diana Thater is part of a larger project that has seen different versions of the work on view in a number of disparate locations (New York, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Oberlin, Ohio, and Toronto). In each of these exhibitions, Thater uses the idiosyncrasies of the different spaces, combined with the inherent production qualities of film and video technology, to create sensual meditations on the experience of time and space.
Of primary concern to Thater═s work is the resolution of formal composition with narrative content. Not satisfied with simply presenting interesting images, Thater actively investigates why images are used, and seeks to bring the projected visuals into the realm of the real world. The walls, floors and windows of each exhibition space, and the viewers in the space, become part of the projected image--or the image becomes part of the world, no longer relegated to the illusory space of two dimensions.

For the work in this exhibition, Thater and her crew filmed and videotaped trained zebras at an exotic animal farm, trained horses at a Medieval Times performance arena, and a forest bower in a Los Angeles arboretum. The images captured by her camera are staged tableaux of domesticated animals and cultivated nature. We see close-ups and optical effects of patterned skin. We see strange animal performances. We see plays on depth and time. Thater complexly interlaces visual composition and narrative content to insist upon a necessary connection between the two concerns.

Diana Thater lives and works in Los Angeles, California. Since 1991 she has shown in a number of noted exhibitions, including solo shows at The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago, the Kunsthalle Basel, and the Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam. In 1997 her work was part of Skulpturen Projekte, M┘nster. This is her first exhibition in Canada.

The best sense is the nonsense is produced in cooperation with the Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin, Ohio; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles; The Saint Louis Art Museum; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of The Canada Council for the Arts.
Art Gallery of York University | Accolade East Building, 4700 Keele Street | Toronto ON M3J 1P3 | agyu [at] yorku.ca