The ICA Selected the First Installation for Its East Boston Satellite

A new space called the Watershed will open in summer 2018.

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

When the Institute of Contemporary Art opens its new satellite across the harbor next summer, it will have a conceptually appropriate installation debuting inside it.

ICA director Jill Medvedow announced today the first installation for the Watershed, the museum’s soon-to-be East Boston location. The industrial gallery will exhibit artist Diana Thater’s Delphine. It’s being reconfigured for the Watershed’s raw space, allowing the exhibition to be projected on its walls through light and videos.

Delphine consists of underwater footage of swimming dolphins. The images will spill across the walls, ceiling, and floor of the room, creating an immersive under-the-sea environment for the viewer—fitting for the gallery’s harborside location. Viewers’ own shadows will be visible on the walls, too, appearing to spin and swim alongside the dolphins.

The sea of projections will be paired with a video wall composed of nine monitors. Each screen in the monitor grid will display an image of the sun, meant to comment on the fragility of the natural world.

“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 in a statement.

In addition to Delphine, another one of Thater’s works will be on display. Called A Runaway World, the sculptural video installation focuses on the lives of species on the verge of extinction.

Visitors at the ICA’s Diller Scofidio + Renfro-designed facility in the Seaport will be able to take a boat between the museum’s locations.

“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,” said Medvedow.

Admission to the Watershed will be free.

Diana Thater, Delphine, 1999. Installation view, Secession, Vienna, 2000. Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner, New York/London. Photo by Margherita Spiluttini. © Diana Thater