Teacher Tour: Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination

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Teacher programs are free for Illinois teachers, but registration is required. Participants receive CPDUs. Vouchers for free parking in the MCA garage are provided pending availability.

A man and a woman engage in a lively conversation in a gallery; an artwork resting against the wall and three out-of-focus museum visitors are in the background.
Teacher Institute tour of BMO Harris Bank Chicago Works: Faheem Majeed. Photo: Gillian Fry, © MCA Chicago.

About

Looking for fresh ideas for your curriculum?

Join us this November to tour Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination, discuss classroom implications, and connect with colleagues. Teacher Tours are led by MCA Artist Guides who are experts at using inquiry and dialogue to engage students in learning about contemporary art and ideas.

Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination presents a series of immersive film and video installations that pushes the limits of her media to imagine animal experience in natural habitats. The works in the exhibition—which fall somewhere between sculpture and architecture—break out of the video rectangle to imagine fluid worlds within the animal kingdom. Diana Thater (American, b. 1962) pioneers the physical, optical, and conceptual to push the boundaries of how moving images are experienced. This exhibition, the most comprehensive survey of the artist’s work to date, includes early as well as recent works.

This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and cocurated by Lynne Cooke, Senior Curator of Special Projects in Modern Art at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, and Christine Y. Kim, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at LACMA. The Chicago presentation is coordinated by Joey Orr.

Two swimming dolphins are featured in a large, slanted video projected on the walls of a high-ceilinged room. The purplish dolphins appear in a blue rectangle, and stand out against the magenta-colored walls and floor.
  1. Long The space looks like a cathedral of some kind. It is glowing with a jewel color. There are two video images. A large rectangular projection shows two dolphins swimming away. This image is mostly on the wall, but is partially on the floor and on an adjacent wall, as well. There is another projection on the floor, which also appears to be a watery scene. A glass case against the far wall reflects a video wall that is located behind us.
Diana Thater, Delphine, 1999. Four video projectors, five players, nine-monitor video wall, and Lee filters; overall dimensions variable. Installation view, Kulturkirche St. Stephani, Bremen, Germany, 2009. © Diana Thater. Photo © Roman Mensing/artdoc.de.

Funding

Support for teacher programs at the MCA is generously provided by the Polk Bros. Foundation. Additional support is provided by Discover.