Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer
The Second Coming
–W.B. Yeats (1865-1939)
Opening on January 10, 2008, David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Los Angeles-based artist Diana Thater.
For her fifth solo exhibition at the gallery, Diana Thater has created two room-size installations that examine the intangible and dimensionless relationship between humans and the natural world through the ancient art of falconry. Emerging with the birth of civilizations–with origins in the Middle East and Central Asia, hunting with trained birds of prey flourished in the courts of medieval Western Europe and Great Britain, carrying with it enormous cultural and social capital. Divorced from its symbolic articulation of social and political power, the practice survives today among a small yet dedicated population of falconers. Committed to working within local environments, Thater invited fifteen California falconers to a stone amphitheater in the Santa Monica Mountains, where she documented the diverse and personal bonds between the falconers and their individual birds. Filming from above, the crane-operated camera surveys the arena while the avian participants remain grounded. Along with this footage, Thater will project large-scale still images of the sun and moon. Just as expectations of movement are reversed with the flying camera and stationary birds, Thater defies color conventions by tinting the sun blue and the moon gold.