Diana Thater

David Zwirner | 525 & 533 West 19th Street

On wall-mounted flat-screen monitors, well-groomed hands move without hesitation over chessboards turned at an angle to the screen, hitting clocks and grabbing pieces in confident advances. Thus did Diana Thater’s most recent show at David Zwirner offer what her work so often does: a technologically mediated abstraction dependent on yet oddly divorced from the representations through which we perceive it. Yet in these deft moves, chess initiates will no doubt recognize a narrative after all, since Thater, in the jejune spirit of battle reenactment, has staged—with the help of various members and the owner of the Los Angeles Chess Club—the so-called Immortal Game of 1851 between Adolf Anderssen and Lionel Kieseritzky (which also appeared in a somewhat altered form in Blade Runner) and Garry Kasparov’s 2003 mêlée with his computer opponent, Deep Junior, as well as the fictitious game between

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