IT’S EASY TO FEEL ABANDONED if not somewhat put off by Diana Thater’s video installations, to be left, that is, with the uncomfortable feeling of having missed the point. Thater’s quasi-cinematic environments are immediately engaging—full of color, movement, imagery, and special effects—but they are also elusive.

Initially, the projection fields seduce us with their dazzling opticality and monumental scale, but a certain emptiness reverberates at the core of Thater’s work, as if apart from technical wizardry and the peculiar sensation of being enveloped by panoramic imagery, there really weren’t much going on. This nagging sense that something is missing results, in part, from the installations’ pervasive silence, broken only by the droning of projectors, and, in part, from the difficulty of linking the surrounding visual fragments into a narrative whole. Yet it is precisely this lack at

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