SANTA MONICA, CA.- The Santa Monica Museum of Art
presents Diana Thater: Between Science and Magic. Working in film, video, and installation, Diana Thater has been an innovator in her medium for 20 years and is best known for creating complex visual and spatial environments. Between Science and Magic is a simple, and beautiful, interpretation of movie magica century-old expression that still conjures the mythology of Hollywood filmmaking. Diana Thater: Between Science and Magic opens on January 16 and continues through April 17, 2010.
Thaters new and innovative piece recreates, and repositions, a seminal moment in Los Angeles history, when downtown LA was being dreamed into a gilded metropolis and a theater district was built to rival New Yorks Great White Way. Between Science and Magic is filmed in the famed Los Angeles Theatre, one of the most elaborate of the movie palaces built between 1911 and 1931 on Los Angeless now-defunct theater row. Renowned magician Greg Wilson was filmed on a white stage. This film was then projected and re-filmed within the sumptuous old theater; thus, the viewer will experience a palpable tension between past and present.
Dressed in a classic top hat and tails, the magician repeatedly performs an archetypal magic trickpulling a rabbit out of a hatwhile the action is filmed from every angle by two cameras projected onto a split screen in an attempt to reveal how the magic trick is done. The scene is captured in tones of black, white, and grey; only the magicians skin tone and the rabbits eyes have a trace of color.
A pioneering filmmaker, Thaters work is held in many public collections including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tate, London; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. She has been the subject of solo exhibitions at such prestigious institutions as the Vienna Secession; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Kunsthalle Basel; and The Renaissance Society, Chicago. Most recently, Thaters gorillagorillagorillaa poignant study of human and animal behaviorwas premiered at the Kunsthaus Graz, in collaboration with the Museum of Natural History in London, to celebrate the bicentenary of Charles Darwins birth. Between Science and Magic is Thaters first solo exhibition in Los Angeles in over 10 years.
Between Science and Magic is a new work commissioned by the Santa Monica Museum of Art with support from David Zwirner New York and Hauser & Wirth London.