Adrián Villar Rojas,
The Theater of Disappearance
Atop the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Exhibiting: Through October 29, 2017
Admittedly, yet again, yours truly is late to the party, but as the saying goes, ‘better late than sorry’; despite having visited the museum numerous times over the past year. Now please allow me to give you a piece of advice. GO TO THIS EXHIBIT!
I’m thankful to have finally passed by. Have always been a big fan of surrealist works from the likes of Picasso, Dali and others; yet insofar as they’re concerned we’d be discussing paintings. Here at this exhibition, with the sprawling Manhattan skyline and Central Park’s treeline as a backdrop, we’ve three-dimensional artwork to walk about, encircle and appreciate; unless you happen to be me, in which case you’d be ogling, drooling and beaming with delight over that which your eyes and senses are feasting upon.
Just like any avid photographer I love coming across new material and well, this exhibition delivers! I simply couldn’t get enough and am already looking forward to returning soon.
Below the words found on a placard near the exhibit is a quick image gallery featuring photos taken during my visit.
The placard reads:
For this site-specific installation, Argentinian artist Adrián Villar Rojas (born 1980) takes as his material the Museum itself, drawing on objects in the collection, the history of collecting practices, and his conversations with curators, conservators, scientists, and 3-D scanning and imaging experts. Conceived as a holistic environment, The Theater of Disappearance transforms the space of the Roof Garden into a performative diorama.
Sixteen black and white sculptures incorporate nearly one hundred replicas of objects from the Museum’s collection – selected from a wide variety of time periods and cultures and reconfigured as amalgamations – as well as figures engaging with the art and, occasionally, signs of everyday life, such as food, animals, and furniture.
Architecture is folded into the fabric of the work. Villar Roja’s interventions include two radical new flooring systems – one a checkerboard, the other a reflective metallic surface – as well as a redesigned bar, benches, new plantings, and an extended pergola overhead, creating a dramatic setting that transforms the panoramic views of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline into theatrical backdrops for the installation. The total effect of sculptures and environment is a dazzling, disorienting scene where all sense of the interpretative history associated with Museum objects has vanished, making way for an alternative history of art.
This project is dedicated to the memory of Ronald Street, The Met’s first head of digital imaging.
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