Nature is ancient

31.01.2011 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

The most recent work of the prolific LA-based video artist Diana Thater transports viewers from within the four walls of Hauser & Wirth’s Piccadilly gallery and into the Zone of Alienation that surrounds Chernobyl’s nuclear disaster site.

Via fragmented footage following wild Przewalski’s Horses, Thater invites viewers into a flickering realm to pose questions about the relationship between man and nature; encasing them within a colourful visual tableau that momentarily distorts perceptions of reality. The video projections that swamp the large blank space are designed to render you online casino bonus childlike, beckoning the realisation that humans exist in this landscape only by implication – through the eroded architecture dotted across the one-hundred mile wide radioactive territory that is navigated during the film. This is not a world that man has abandoned by choice; it is an environment where animals – endangered animals at that – have succeeded humans and thrived. It”s important to remind oneself that this is not an imagined alternate state, but a visceral consequence of our recent history. And yet whilst this is considered Thater’s darkest work to date, it exudes an unyielding optimism that somehow nature will overcome man’s misdemeanours and out-survive us all. And that is a soothing thought.

Diana Thater, Chernobyl is at Hauser & Wirth London, Piccadilly until 5th March.

Words bu Julia Hobbs.

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