Catalina Island News

World Premier of Doug Aitkin Art Installation in Catalina’s Casino Point Dive Park


Produced by Parley for the Oceans and presented in partnership with The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), the work at Catalina Island consists of three temporary underwater sculptures, floating beneath the ocean’s surface that swimmers, snorkelers, and scuba divers swim through and experience at 10, 20 and 30 foot depths.

Geometric in design, the sculptures create underwater spaces synthesizing art and science as they are constructed with carefully researched materials and are moored to the ocean floor. Part of each structure is mirrored to reflect the underwater seascape and create a kaleidoscopic observatory for the viewer, while other surfaces are rough and rock-like. The environments created by the sculptures will constantly change with the currents and the time of day, focusing the attention of the viewer on the rhythm of the ocean and its life cycles.

Underwater Pavilions engages the living ocean ecosystem as the viewer swims into and through the sculptures, which create reflective abstractions. The work operates as an observatory for ocean life, creating a variety of converging perceptual encounters. Both aesthetic and scientific, Underwater Pavilions puts the local marine environment and the global challenges around ocean conversation in dialogue with the history of art, inviting the viewer to write a contemporary narrative of the ocean and to participate in its protection.

According to Christina Caputo of Parley “The exhibit is very popular with divers and live underwater cameras came online in early December.” A link to the cameras and more information may be found here:  A documentary film about the project will be released later this year.

Artist Doug Aitken (b. 1968) has created a body of work that explores the evolving ways people experience memory and narrative and relate to fast-paced urban environments. During the past decade, the artist has created innovative contemporary video art by fracturing the narrative structures of his films across multi-screen environments. His work has been exhibited in museums around the world, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York (which commissioned a large-scale outdoor video installation--the first of its kind at the venerable institution), and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. In 1999 he was awarded the International Prize at the Venice Biennale, and in 2000 he won the Aldrich Award.