Women on the Plinth Catherine Wagley
Us & Them, Now & Then:
Reconstituting Group Material
Travis Diehl
The Offerings of EJ Hill
Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi
Interview with Jenni Sorkin Carmen Winant
Letter to the Editor Lady Parts, Lady Arts
Launch Party August 19th at Blum and Poe
Object Project
Featuring: Rebecca Morris,
Linda Stark, Alex Olson
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Photos by Jeff McClane
Reviews Mark Bradford
at the Venice Biennale
by Thomas Duncan

Broken Language
at Shulamiit Nazarian
by Angella d'Avignon

Artists of Color
at the Underground Museum
by Matt Stromberg

Anthony Lepore & Michael Henry Hayden
at Del Vaz Projects
by Aaron Horst

Home
at LACMA
by Simone Krug

Analia Saban at
Sprueth Magers
by Hana Cohn
Kanye Westworld Travis Diehl
@richardhawkins01 Thomas Duncan
Support Structures: Alice Könitz and LAMOA Catherine Wagley
Interview with Penny Slinger Eliza Swann
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
taisha paggett
Ashley Hunt
Young Chung
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Letter to the Editor
Launch Party
Reviews Alessandro Pessoli
by Jonathan Griffin

Jennie Jieun Lee
by Stuart Krimko

Trisha Baga
by Lindsay Preston Zappas

Jimmie Durham
by Molly Larkey

Parallel City
by Hana Cohn

Jason Rhodes
by Matt Stromberg
Generous
Structures
Catherine Wagley
Put on a Happy Face:
On Dynasty Handbag
Travis Diehl
The Limits of Animality:
Simone Forti at ISCP
(L.A. in N.Y.)
Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi
More Wound Than Ruin:
Evaluating the
"Human Condition"
Jessica Simmons
Launch Party
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
Brenna Youngblood
Todd Gray
Rafa Esparza
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews Creature by Thomas Duncan
Sam Pulitzer & Peter Wachtler by Stuart Krimko
Karl Haendel by Aaron Horst
Wolfgang Tillmans by Eli Diner
Ma by Claire de Dobay Rifelj
The Rat Bastard Protective Association by Pablo Lopez
Kenneth Tam
's Basement
Travis Diehl
The Female
Cool School
Catherine Wagley
The Rise
of the L.A.
Art Witch
Amanda Yates Garcia
Interview with
Mernet Larsen
Julie Weitz
Agnes Martin
at LACMA
Jessica Simmons
Launch Party Carla Issue 6
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
Analia Saban
Ry Rocklen
Sarah Cain
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews:
Made in L.A. 2016
Doug Aitken Electric Earth
Mertzbau

Jean-Pascal Flavian and Mika Tajima
Mark A. Rodruigez
The Weeping Line
Molly Larkey, Aaron Horst,
Keith J. Varadi, Katie Bode,
Stuart Krimko, Matt Stromberg
Non-Fiction
at The Underground Museum
Catherine Wagley
The Art of Birth Carmen Winant
Escape from Bunker Hill
John Knight
at REDCAT
Travis Diehl
Ed Boreal Speaks Benjamin Lord
Art Advice (from Men) Sarah Weber
Routine Pleasures
at the MAK Center
Jonathan Griffin
Launch Party Carla Issue 5
Exquisite L.A.
Featuring:
Fay Ray
John Baldessari
Claire Kennedy
Intro by Claressinka Anderson
Portraits by Joe Pugliese
Reviews Hana Cohn, Eli Diner,
Claire De Dobay Rifelj,
Katie Bode, Molly Larkey,
Keith J. Varadi
Moon, laub, and Love Catherine Wagley
Walk Artisanal Jonathan Griffin
Reconsidering
Marva Marrow's
Inside the L.A. Artist
Anthony Pearson
Mystery Science Thater
Diana Thater
at LACMA
Aaron Horst
Informal Feminisms Federica Bueti and Jan Verwoert
Marva Marrow Photographs
Lita Albuquerque
Launch Party Carla Issue 4
Interiors and Interiority:
Njideka Akunyili Crosby
Char Jansen
Reviews Claire de Dobay Rifelj,
Matt Stromberg, Hana Cohn,
Lindsay Preston Zappas,
Simone Krug, Keith Vaughn,
Ikechukwu Casmir Onyewuenyi
Le Louvre, Las Vegas Evan Moffitt
iPhones, Flesh,
and the Word
F.B.I.
at Arturo Bandini
Lindsay Preston Zappas
Women Talking About Barney Catherine Wagley
Lingua Ignota
Faith Wilding
at The Armory Center
for the Arts
and LOUDHAILER
Benjamin Lord
A Conversation
with Amalia Ulman
Char Jansen
How We Practice Carmen Winant
Launch Party Carla Issue 3
Share Your Piece of the Puzzle Federica Bueti
Amanda Ross-Ho Photographs
Erik Frydenborg
Reviews Eli Diner, Jonathan Griffin,
Don Edler, Aaron Horst
Hot Tears Carmen Winant
Slow View:
Molly Larkey
Anna Breininger and Kate Whitlock
Americanicity's Paintings
Orion Martin
at Favorite Goods
Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal
Layers of Leimert Park Catherine Wagley
Junkspace Junk Food
Parker Ito
at Kaldi, Smart Objects,
White Cube, and
Château Shatto
Evan Moffitt
Melrose Hustle Keith Vaughn
Reviews Benjamin Lord, Aaron Horst, Stephen Kent
Top-Down Bottom-Up Jenny Gagalka
Snap Reviews Aaron Horst, Char Jansen, Randy Rice, Lindsay Preston Zappas
Max Maslansky Photographs
Monica Majoli
at the Tom of Finland Foundation
White Lee, Black Lee
William Pope.L’s Reenactor
Travis Diehl
Dora Budor Interview Char Jensen
MEAT PHYSICS/
Metaphysical L.A.
Travis Diehl
Art for Art’s Sake:
L.A. in the 1990s
Anthony Pearson
A Dialogue in Two
Synchronous Atmospheres
Erik Morse
with Alexandra Grant
SOGTFO
at François Ghebaly
Jonathan Griffin
#studio #visit
with #devin #kenny
@barnettcohen
Mateo Tannatt
Photographs
Jibade-Khalil Huffman
VESSEL // CINS and
VESSEL // PERF
Ben Medansky
I've been a lot of places,
seen so many faces
Nora Slade
Launch Party Carla Issue 1
Slow View:
Discussion on One Work
Anna Breininger
with Julian Rogers
Reviews Tracy Jeanne Rosenthal, Catherine Wagley, Keith Vaughn, Aaron Horst, Kate Wolf, Mateo Tannatt, Evan Moffitt, Cal Siegel
We’re in This Together Lauren Cherry & Max Springer
Distribution
Downtown
ARTBOOK @ Hauser & Wirth
Baert Gallery
Cirrus Gallery
Château Shatto
Club Pro
Dalton Warehouse
Elevator Mondays
The Geffen Contemporary 
at MOCA
Ghebaly Gallery
ICA LA
LACA
MAMA
Mistake Room
MOCA Grand Avenue
Monte Vista Projects
Night Gallery
The Box
Wilding Cran Gallery
Boyle Heights/ Chinatown
A.G. Geiger
BBQLA
Chimento Contemporary
Charlie James
Human Resources
Ibid Gallery
Ooga Booga
Ooga Twooga
Parrasch Heijnen Gallery
Museum as Retail Space (MaRS)
Nicodim Gallery
Venus Over Los Angeles
Eastside
AWHRHWAR
67 Steps
ESXLA
Otherwild
SADE
Smart Objects
Skibum MacArthur
Westside
18th Street Arts
Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis 
College of Art and Design
Christopher Grimes Gallery
DXIX Projects
Five Car Garage
Team (Bungalow)
Pasadena/ Glendale/ Valley
The Armory Center for the Arts
The Pit
Los Angeles Valley College
Natural
The Art Gallery @ GCC
Mid-City
1301 PE
Big Pictures Los Angeles
California African American Museum
Chainlink Gallery
Commonwealth & Council
David Kordansky Gallery
H I L D E
JOAN
Kayne Griffin Corcoran
LACMA
ltd Los Angeles
Marc Foxx
Shoot the Lobster
Ochi Projects
Park View
Praz-Delavallade
The Landing
SPRÜTH MAGERS
The Underground Museum
USC Fisher Museum of Art
Visitor Welcome Center
Culver City
Anat Ebgi
Arcana Books
Blum & Poe
Cherry and Martin
Honor Fraser
Klowden Mann
Luis De Jesus
Roberts and Tilton
Susanne Vielmetter
Hollywood
Diane Rosenstein
Family Books
GAVLAK
Hannah Hoffman
LACE
LA><ART
M+B
Nino Mier Gallery
Moskowitz Bayse
Noysky Projects
Regen Projects
Shulamit Nazarian
Various Small Fires
South Bay
DMV
Grab Bag Studios
The Torrance Art Museum
Elsewhere in CA
Alter Space (San Francisco)
City Limits (Oakland)
Et al. (San Francisco)
Ever Gold Projects (San Francisco)
fused space (San Francisco)
Gym Standard (San Diego)
Helmuth Projects (San Diego)
Interface Gallery (Oakland)
Jessica Silverman (San Francisco)
Left Field (San Luis Obispo)
San Diego Art Institute (San Diego)
Verve Center for the Arts (Sacramento)
Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art (San Francisco)
Non CA
Artbook @ MoMA PS1 (Long Island City, NY)
Editions Kavi Gupta (Chicago, IL)
Good Weather (North Little Rock, AK)
Nationale (Portland, OR)
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (Skowhegan, ME)
Small Editions (Brooklyn, NY)
Space 42 (Jacksonville, FL)
Spoonbill & Sugartown (Brooklyn, NY)
Ulises (Philadelphia, PA)
Libraries/ Collections
Bard College, Center for Curatorial Studies Library (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY)
CalArts (Valencia, CA)
Cranbrook Academy of Art (Bloomfield Hills, MI)
El 123 (México City, MX)
John M. Flaxman Library at SAIC (Chicago, IL)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Research Library (Los Angeles, CA)
Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (Los Angeles, CA)
Marpha Foundation (Marpha, Nepal)
Maryland Institute College of Art, The Decker Library (Baltimore, MD)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library (New York, NY)
Midway Contemporary Art (Minneapolis, MN)
Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA)
Point Loma Nazarene University (San Diego, CA)
School of the Art Institute of Chicago, John M. Flaxman Library (Chicago, IL)
Scholes Library, NYS College of Ceramics at Alfred University (Alfred, NY)
Skowhegan Archives (New York, NY)
Sotheby’s Institute of Art (New York, NY)
Telfair Museum (Savannah, GA)
USC Fisher Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA)
Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN)
Whitney Museum of American Art, Frances Mulhall Achilles Library (New York, NY)
Yale University Library (New Haven, CT)

Mystery Science Thater

Diana Thater at LACMA

Diana Thater, Untitled Videowall (Butterflies) (2008). Six video monitors, player, one fluorescent light fixture, and Lee filters, dimensions variable. Image courtesy of the artist and 1301PE, Los Angeles. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen.

Diana Thater, Untitled Videowall (Butterflies) (2008). Six video monitors, player, one fluorescent light fixture, and Lee filters, dimensions variable. Image courtesy of the artist and 1301PE, Los Angeles. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen.

What is it about the moving image that so compels us? Or, rather, what is it about the moving image that still compels us? Wonder at film and video technology is perennial, though it has been entrenched in our culture well past the point of banality. But the allure of the moving image rarely fades; conversely, it tends to renew in finer and finer detail. Perhaps it’s simply the thrill of absorbing the active in an engaged, but passive state: the image(s) of time unfolding along a fixed surface.

Watching a projected bird scroll across a formidable interior wall in LACMA’s Broad Building, I could’ve sworn I heard the faint strains of Angelo Badalamenti’s score for Twin Peaks. I recalled the Log Lady’s cold intonation: “The owls are not what they seem.” Diana Thater’s bird is not an owl but a (rather large) falcon, and yet not a falcon at all. Rather, it is the recorded incident light of some falcon somewhere in the recent past. Digitized and scaled up, it plods along the wall by means of an impressive chain-link of optical projectors.

The image of the thing and the thing itself are distinct—we know this to be from Joseph Kosuth’s classic (and schoolteacher-y) One and Three Chairs (1965). In A Cast of Falcons (2008), part of the Diana Thater’s retrospective, The Sympathetic Imagination, at LACMA, the artist opens the thing-ness of the falcon to our consideration. Imagery, whether or not it moves, arguably always does. An image (or a reproduction) is, firstly, a repurpose of past reality: a falsehood, in a sense, cleaved from the real.

The perpendicular walls that bookend the falcon projection play host to two large slides: one an ultraviolet sun, the other a warmly-hued moon. Each alludes in color to the physical conditions of the other: the sun cool, the moon baking. These discrete and curious illusory reversals point toward looking as a pleasure, and a partiality: the thing embeds in our vision without being entirely comprehended. Film tends to distill the sensory down to the primary potency of the visual.

Thater’s work throughout the LACMA exhibition hinges on this tension between the pleasures of looking and the impossibilities of really seeing. Even when immersed in it, as we are in several of Thater’s room-sized installations, the effect is a combined one: of both familiar joys and subtle oddities.

Diana Thater, Abyss of Light ( 1995). Three video projectors, three players, and Lee filters, dimensions variable. Image courtesy of the artist. Photo: Roman Mensing.

Diana Thater, Abyss of Light (1995). Three video projectors, three players, and Lee filters, dimensions variable. Image courtesy of the artist. Photo: Roman Mensing.

At odds (with the audience) are the mechanics and staging of much of the work. Several of Thater’s installations feature an oppressive array of projections, catching the viewer in an unavoidable net of light beams. Viewers’ shadows are suddenly hurled into the throws of a swarm of bees, or a group of monkeys. Only the enduring viewer finds himself anywhere other than against the wall in China (1995), hovering in hopes of a fissure where there are only overlaps. Projection frustrates the bodies that enter its beam, and Thater’s work plays up this irritation. In Thater’s hands, the light of the moving image is often flung obliquely across the viewing space, perhaps as a ploy to scrape away at a basic expectation of film: viewed, from a distance.

Elsewhere, Thater toys with the viewer using subtler means. When approaching the cutout door at the base of the wall-sized projection of a temple facade in Life is a Time-Based Medium (2015), the viewer does so in tandem with her two cast shadows. Meeting our own casts at the vanishing point, we next encounter a relatively cramped room showcasing footage of monkeys eating bananas, in front of the same facade we’ve just passed through; movie-theater seats in which we cannot sit tease at the lower edge of the projection’s frame.

Alvar Aalto balanced intimacy and expanse via the tactic of long, low corridors culminating in double height, expansive rooms. Thater’s architectural engagement here is the reverse: a formidable facade giving way to a claustrophobic interior, within which we find only images of the outside, framed in allusion to the (once) most common apparatus of projected imagery—the movie theater. The viewer’s passage through the work here is privy to movements both within and through the layers of the projected image, as cast shadows cancel only part of the image and movement into the interior reveals only a false theater.

LACMA’s staging of the exhibition divides Thater’s work into two camps: the raucous and interactive work in the Art of the Americas building and the slower, more contemplative large-scale pieces in the Broad building. Tucked away in the lobby of the Bing Theater is the Muybridge-inspired The best space is the deep space (1998): a set of ten monitors staged on a curved wall along which a looped ten seconds of a bowing horse plays, each monitor a second or so off from the one preceding.

Diana Thater, knots + surfaces (2001). Five video projections, siteen-monitor video wall, six players, and Lee filters, dimensions variable. Image courtesy of the artist. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen.

Diana Thater, knots + surfaces (2001). Five video projections, siteen-monitor video wall, six players, and Lee filters, dimensions variable. Image courtesy of the artist. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen.

For all the immediate accessibility sparking off of its structuralist pretensions, Thater’s work can skirt the line between elision and aimlessness. The imagery is sumptuous, but essentially secondary, particularly in works like Surface Effect (1997) and Oo Fifi (1992). In these, Thater foregrounds color separation, undoing, and revealing, the structure by which we actually see many printed and projected images. There is a split here between the image and the visual: Surface Effect (1997) achieves this beautifully by pairing the color breakdown with variable speed—flashes of the image here and there align, Thater dissolving the central visual on which the work hangs into the variable sum of its constituent elements.

Thater’s work withholds as often as it gives, yet gives abundantly, particularly in Day for Night, One, Two, and Three (2013). Here, beautifully transformative footage of flowers shot with dark blue filters shows on three nine-monitor video walls. Day for Night is intimate, dark even, and perhaps the crux to understanding Thater’s intentions which elsewhere, like color separation, occasionally, and slightly, misalign. Thater’s work points to the structure of the thing, a thing always necessarily and definitively absent, as is the rule of the image. Thater’s foregrounding of accordion-like openings into the ways in which representation itself manifests meets unabashed visual pleasure in Day for Night; pleasure, that is, without problematic. Perhaps this pleasure, which we encounter so clearly at the exhibition’s culmination, a pleasure in looking culled equally from at what we look and how we go about looking at it, has been in Thater’s exhibition all along.

Diana Thater, Delphine (1999). Four video projectors, five players, nine-monitor video wall, and Lee filters, dimensions variable. Image courtesy of the artist. Photo: Roman Mensing.

Diana Thater, Delphine (1999). Four video projectors, five players, nine-monitor video wall, and Lee filters, dimensions variable. Image courtesy of the artist. Photo: Roman Mensing.

2016-07-12 (3)Originally published in Carla Issue 4.