Diana Thater:

Diana Thater:


22 October–04 February 201222 Oct–04 Feb 2012

Los Angeles artist Diana Thater’s installations address our relationship with the natural world (particularly animals) while exploring the language and mechanics of video as a medium. The highlight of our show is her new six-channel video installation Chernobyl (2010).

In 1986, the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the northern Ukraine exploded. It allegedly released one hundred times more nuclear debris than the Hiroshima bomb and was responsible for the deaths and illnesses of thousands of people. Today, the city of Pripyat, where the powerplant workers lived, is a ghost town. Although deserted by humans, wild animals are settling there. Przewalski’s Horses, facing extinction in their native habitat in central Asia, now roam freely in this post-apocalyptic, post-human landscape. Thater filmed in Pripyat, within the forbidden ‘alienation zone’, observing animals against the derelict architecture.

Thater writes: ‘Chernobyl is falling into ruins, but still looks like a city; there are stores, apartment buildings, schools. Even though it’s deserted and falling apart, animals are moving into the city. On the one hand, you have a perfectly preserved Soviet city from 1970; on the other hand, this post-apocalyptic landscape where animals are living. Chernobyl represents the failure of a massive political system, a way of life, and of science. Yet nature continues to persist. Not because it wants or chooses to, but because it must.’

In addition to Chernobyl, we will be showing Thater’s installations Peonies (2011), Untitled Videowall (Butterflies)(2008), and Pink Daisies, Amber Room (2003). Diana Thater is represented by 1301PE, Los Angeles; Hauser and Wirth, London; and David Zwirner, New York. Chernobyl is presented with assistance from IMA Supporters.

The Institute of Modern Art acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land upon which the IMA now stands, the Jagera, Yuggera, Yugarapul, and Turrbal people. We offer our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the first artists of this country. In the spirit of allyship, the IMA will continue to work with First Nations people to celebrate, support, and present their immense past, present, and future contribution to artistic practice and cultural expression.