Press Release  December 1, 2017

ICA Boston To Open New Exhibition Space

Courtesy ICA Boston

Diana Thater, Delphine, 1999. Installation view, Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2015–16. Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner, New York/London. Photo by Fredrik Nilsen. © Diana Thater

Boston, MA- The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA) will open the Watershed, a new seasonal space for art, with a major project by internationally renowned artist Diana Thater, announced Jill Medvedow, Ellen Matilda Poss Director of the ICA, today. Opening in summer 2018, the Watershed is located across Boston Harbor from the ICA in the East Boston Shipyard and Marina. The ICA will provide a boat to bring visitors between both locations.

“With the opening of the Watershed, the ICA once again transforms the cultural landscape of Boston and its waterfront through contemporary art,” said Medvedow. “The Watershed is a new opportunity for artists and audiences to experience the industrial, maritime, and social history of Boston, build a connection between the neighborhoods of East and South Boston, and activate our beautiful harbor through art, water transportation, and public access.” 

Thater’s installation will reflect on the fragility of the natural world, transforming the Watershed through light and moving image projections. The installation 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, creating an immersive underwater environment. As viewers interact with Delphine, they become performers within the artwork, their own silhouettes moving and spinning alongside the dolphins. Grounding the sea of projections is a composite video wall, a grid of nine cube monitors displaying a single glowing image of the sun. In addition to Delphine, the Watershed will feature a new sculptural video installation, A Runaway World, produced in Kenya in 2016 and 2017. The work is staged within a unique architectural environment of free-standing screen structures designed by Thater. A Runaway World focuses on the lives and worlds of species on the verge of extinction and the illicit economies that threaten their survival. The Diana Thater installation is organized by Barbara Lee Chief Curator Eva Respini. 

“Diana Thater’s strategies of intensified color and visually stunning moving images will offer visitors an extraordinary introduction to the Watershed and raise urgent questions about the impact of human intervention on the environment,” said Medvedow.

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 East Boston 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. Admission to the Watershed will be free for all. Read more.

About the artist
Diana Thater (b. 1962, San Francisco) received a BA in Art History from New York University before receiving her MFA from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. She has had major solo exhibitions at leading institutions, including the Borusan Contemporary, Istanbul (2017); Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2016); Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2015); Kunsthaus Graz, Austria and Natural History Museum, London (2009).

Her work was featured in the 56th Venice Biennale at The Azerbaijan Pavilion as well as several Whitney Biennials (1995, 1997, and 2006), and is represented in prominent museum collections worldwide, including The Art Institute of Chicago, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York), and Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam). Among her numerous notable awards, Thater has received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2005) and the National Endowment for the Arts (1993). A prolific writer and educator, Thater lives and works in Los Angeles, where she teaches at the Art Center College of Design.

About the ICA
An influential forum for multi-disciplinary arts, the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston has been at the leading edge of art in Boston for 80 years. Like its iconic building on Boston’s waterfront, the ICA offers new ways of engaging with the world around us. Its exhibitions and programs provide access to contemporary art, artists, and the creative process, inviting audiences of all ages and backgrounds to participate in the excitement of new art and ideas. The ICA, located at 25 Harbor Shore Drive, is open Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 AM–5 PM; Thursday and Friday, 10 AM–9 PM (1st Friday of every month, 10 AM–5 PM); and Saturday and Sunday, 10 AM–5 PM.  Admission is $15 adults, $13 seniors and $10 students, and free for members and children 17 and under. Free admission for families at ICA Play Dates (2 adults + children 12 and under) on last Saturday of the month. For more information, call 617-478-3100 or visit our website at Follow the ICA at FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.


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