Doug Aitken to install 'Underwater Pavilions' this fall

Doug Aitken is just days away from the opening of his survey exhibition, “Doug Aitken: Electric Earth,” at MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary in downtown L.A., but the multimedia artist has announced yet another project, one that will submerge his work in the ocean.

In October, Aitken will premiere “Doug Aitken: Underwater Pavilions,” a large-scale installation consisting of three underwater sculptures that will float off the coast of Santa Catalina Island, suspended about 5, 10 and 50 feet below the surface. The geometric, reflective pieces are interactive in the sense that water-savvy art goers will be able to swim inside and through them.

The installation, presented in partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art, is being produced by Parley for the Oceans, a New York-based ocean conservation advocacy group. The sculptures are made of environmentally friendly materials, the museum said. The pieces include mirrored surfaces in certain places, so that as snorkelers and scuba divers whirl, twirl and glide through them, the artworks will reflect their underwater surroundings.

“Over 70% of the surface of the Earth is ocean, and the seascape offers unique opportunities to create works that constantly shift, change, evolve with the tide and the sun,” Aitken said via email. “The opportunity to work with Parley for the Oceans and realize this project during the time of the MOCA survey could not have been better. A project like this asks us to reconsider our perception of something that may on the surface seem mundane but when you dive deeper the complexity is apparent." 

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