Exhibition of the week - Chernobyl

Piccadilly art gallery Hauser & Wirth will, for the next few months, play host to "Chernobyl", a powerful video installation by Los Angeles artist Diana Thater.

In a bid to catalogue the devastation left behind in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster, Thater spent time filming in the depressingly titled Zone of Alienation – the abandoned 100-mile radius surrounding the accident.

Hauser & Wirth, Diana Thater, Chernobyl, Production Still, 2010 (3)

The resultant footage is haunting, depicting the desolate remains of the Prypiat, the town founded to house the workers at the plant. As human detritus continues to decompose, Chernobyl’s animal population has flourished; Thater’s footage reveals forgotten classrooms and abandoned movie theatres, with rare breeds of wild horse running untamed through the overgrown cityscape.

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Stark but captivating, Chernobyl is a beautiful installation, and a sobering reminder of the speed at which nature can reclaim its territory when man overreaches.

Diana Thater's Chernobly will remain on show at Hauser & Wirth Picadilly from 28 January – 5 March 2011www.hauserwirth.com

Hauser & Wirth London, Diana Thater, Calendar, 2010