Diana Thater (b. 1962, San Francisco) has been a pioneering voice in video installation art since the early 1990s. She is internationally renowned for immersive, atmospheric spatial transformations using moving images of the natural world and vividly colored light washes. In the first major presentation of her work in Boston, Thater will create a site responsive installation for the inaugural exhibition at the ICA’s new seasonal space, the Watershed. Thater’s keen attention to the particular architecture and geography her installations inhabit will highlight the historic Watershed building and its location within an active seaport on Boston Harbor.

Transforming the Watershed through light and moving-image projections, Thater’s installation for the ICA will reflect on the fragility of the natural world. The exhibition will center on Thater’s artwork Delphine, reconfigured in response to the Watershed’s raw, industrial space and coastal location. In this monumental work, underwater film and video footage of swimming dolphins spills across the floor, ceiling, and walls in several large-scale voluminous projections. Upon entering the gallery, visitors will be immersed in an otherworldly underwater environment while remaining firmly connected to the waterfront landscape just outside. As viewers interact with Delphine, they become performers within the artwork, their shadowy silhouettes moving and spinning alongside the dolphins, across the gallery walls. 

About the Watershed
In summer 2018, the ICA will expand its artistic programming across Boston Harbor to the Watershed, a new space for art in the Boston Harbor Shipyard and Marina. Award-winning firm Anmahian Winton Architects (AW) has been engaged to design the renovation of the facility, a former copper pipe factory, and restore the historic building for new use. The ICA will present artworks and public programs seasonally in the newly renovated 15,000-square-foot space while continuing year-round programming in its Diller Scofidio + Renfro-designed facility in Boston’s Seaport District. The Watershed will be a raw, industrial space for art unlike any other in Boston. In addition to a flexible space for exhibitions, programming, and workshops, the Watershed will house an orientation gallery introducing visitors to the historic shipyard complemented by a waterside plaza that will serve as a gathering place with stunning harbor views. The Watershed is located across Boston Harbor from the ICA in the Boston Harbor Shipyard and Marina in East Boston. The ICA will provide a boat to bring visitors between both locations. Admission to the Watershed will be free for all.

Diana Thater is organized by Eva Respini, Barbara Lee Chief Curator, with Cara Kuball, Curatorial Project Manager.