Total immersion: Doug Aitken’s underwater world
Visitors to the LA artist’s latest work will need scuba gear. By Jonathan Griffin
The waters around the pretty island of Catalina, 22 miles off the coast of Southern California, are colder in December than you might think. Two days after heaving on scuba gear and descending 15 feet to see Los Angeles artist Doug Aitken’s sub-aquatic sculptures, the tips of my fingers were still tingling and numb. What I saw down there, however, stayed with me long after normal feeling returned.
The Underwater Pavilions are the latest work from the polymath Aitken, who found fame in the late 1990s with multi-screen video installations that often describe alienating, post-industrial landscapes — both urban and remote — through which protagonists drift aimlessly, as if lost in hyperspace.
Image: © Patrick T Fallon