Diana Thater



Opening: 30.01.2009, 7 pm
Curated by: Adam Budak, Peter Pakesch

At the beginning of the bicentenary of Darwin's birth, the Kunsthaus Graz is exhibiting the large-format video installations of Californian artist Diana Thater, which analyse the complexity of nature and its relationship with mankind. Her new work, gorillagorillagorilla, premiered in Kunsthaus Graz, is a study of human and animal behavior and the artist's further investigation of the medium of video as an image production tool capable of creating impressive spatial and visual environments.


"I create sculptures with images of nature in space," says Diana Thater in describing her monumental video installations that analyze complexities of the natural world and their relationship with the human being. The title of her exhibition gorillagorillagorilla refers to the trinomial name for Western Lowland Gorillas (genus: species: subspecies) that the artist filmed last year at the primate rescue centre in Mefou National Park, Cameroon. gorillagorillagorilla is an ambient visual arrangement of images of nature, projected on irregular surfaces of Space01, and complemented by mainly forest green and golden yellow lights, creating an uncanny swirling shape that attempts to reconstruct the wilderness of rainforests and the movements of animals.


Thater's artistic method is a relational act which polyphonically choreographs various elements and leads towards producing multidimensional qualities of space and time: "If installation is an art of real space and time that puts sculpture and architecture in dialogue with one another, then I'm interested in making the space between them visible through the intervention of moving images and the time they exist in volumetric through color." gorillagorillagorilla is a particular "orchestra of space", conducted by the artist concerned with the mechanism of perception: "Art changes the world by changing the way you see."


Thater's work deals with the politics of human - inhuman relationships and the production of subjectivities in a passage between man and animal. The artist researches the zones of proximity between these two worlds and investigates their mutability. Thater merges the fictive space of cinematic images and the physical space of the viewer, thus disorienting his/her position and identity, and placing the viewer in an ambiguous state between intimacy and estrangement. The viewer views and simultaneously is viewed, diving into a fluid spatial and temporal environment.


The artist defines the paradigm of the Other: "When we talk about nature, we are talking about ourselves really. Nature is the screen onto which we project ourselves. Nature is the ultimate Other." Belonging and assimilation are agents of blurred borders and they demarcate the transformational processes: "I'm interested in the layering of identities on top of each other and in exchanges of identity." Belonging is a device for rethinking the world and orienting our place in it. "Which world do I belong to? Which world do I inhabit?", Thater's characters - coming from a variety of fictive sources, be it literary, cinematic, or scientific - often ask, while searching for an understanding of a human world and its coherence.



Exhibition catalogue

Diana Thater. gorillagorillagorilla

Kunsthaus Graz

Lendkai 1
8020 Graz, Österreich
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10th April 2023
1st May 2023
29th May 2023

21st February 2023
24th/25th December 2023

Tuesday, 12.05.2009/07:00 PM , Space04

I'm a Human Ape. Confessions of a Primates Researcher, Volker Sommer


Tuesday, 05.05.2009/07:00 PM , Space04

Save the Gorillas to Save the World, Ian Redmond OBE, Ambassador for the UN International Year of the Gorilla


Tuesday, 28.04.2009/07:00 PM , Space04

Peter Greenaway: A Zed & Two Noughts, Darwin , Film evening in the frame of the exhibition Diana Thater. gorillagorillagorilla


Tuesday, 21.04.2009/07:00 PM , Space04

In the Contact Zone., Being Human, Becoming Animal


Tuesday, 31.03.2009/07:00 PM , Space04

Structure and Narrative: Lemons, Carrots, Peas and a White Dog, Film evening


Tuesday, 03.03.2009/07:00 PM , Space04

I wonder what a Gorilla would say to this? , About Diana Thater and Charles Darwin


Tuesday, 03.02.2009/07:00 PM , Space04

King Kong , Film evening


Friday, 30.01.2009/04:00 PM , Space01

Diana Thater. gorillagorillagorilla, Lecture