Famed French entomologist Jean-Henri Fabre studied the mystical moment of transition between night and day. He wrote, “Nearly all animals on earth greet night in this moment of blue, find slumber in it, and awaken to it day after day.” When approaching Diana Thater’s newest work, Science Fiction, I was reminded of Fabre’s fascination with twilight.
When entering the main gallery of the San Jose Museum of Art’s Beta Space, the viewer is confronted by an encompassing installation. Directly below the gallery’s soaring central skylight, a 16x20x8-foot box emits a soft-yellow glow offset from the rest of the gallery which is infused in cosmic blue--the effect like a rising or setting sun. Projected onto the barrel-vaulted ceiling, larger-than-life images of iridescent scarabs go about their nocturnal business.