China, Crayons & Molly Numbers 1 through 10 Press Release
February 10—March 16, 1996
Opening on February 10th at David Zwirner is an exhibition of works by Los Angeles artist Diana Thater. In her second solo exhibition at the gallery, Thater will present nearly (but not quite) all of her work from 1995. Among the works being shown are a one-projector video installation entitled Scarlet McCraw Crayons, a selection from an edition of 10 unique monitor works, Molly Numbers 1 through 10, and Bison Prototype an altered monitor work.
The largest part of the gallery will be taken over by Thater's video installation entitled China which was originally produced by and for the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago and for Le Creux de L'Enfer Centre d'Art Contemporain de Thiers, France. Accompanying the installation will be a selection of the monitor works that go with China as well as a one-minute piece made for MTV.
China is named for the female half of a pair of trained wolves whom Thater hired to perform for her cameras. In the edit, this performance was divided, subdivided, color-coded and then put back together out of sequence. It is shown with six synchronized video projectors which form a 360-degree panoramic image around the interior of the gallery. All of the footage removed in the edit has been put back into the monitor works, which the artists made so that no moment experienced by the wolves, the camera people, the trainers or the director, would be lost to the viewer.
This exhibition of Thater's largest body of work to date coincides with the release of the catalogue, also entitled China. This catalogue, produced with a grant from the Etant Donnes Foundation for French and American Art, includes essays by the artist, film theoretician Colin Gardner and artist and writer Timothy Martin. Planned and designed with artist Tom Dolan, this 80-page book functions asa work of art as well and fits in with Thater's idea that all things associated with a work, be it the entrance to the exhibition space, the invitation or the catalogue, must attend to the ideas driving the work. These supplements, instead of being mere addenda to the art functions as variations on its theme. This is but one level on which we may engage the six pieces belonging to a body of work by Diana Thater. Their many layers can only become apparent inside of the gallery where what the artist calls 'the choreography of the works' is employed and the viewer moves through, around and ultimately with the work of art.