The in­stal­la­tion opens


Pasatiempo - - NEWS -

The t wists and turns of Meow Wolf ’s ex­hibit House of Eter­nal Re­turn lead to some enig­matic en­coun­ters — the kind you have when jour­ney­ing through a dream. The house in the art col­lec­tive’s highly an­tic­i­pated pro­ject — the pre­miere ex­hi­bi­tion and open­ing of its new art com­plex — is a real house, a Vic­to­rian one to be ex­act. Built to scale in­side the for­mer Silva Lanes bowl­ing al­ley, the house is at the apex of col­lid­ing di­men­sions (if you want to see it that way), or maybe it’s a mi­cro­cos­mic rep­re­sen­ta­tion of a larger world where there are “more things in heaven and earth.”

En­ter­ing the new 20,000 square-foot space, which was pur­chased in 2014 withw fund­ing by lo­cal au­thor Ge­orge R.R. Martin, vis­si­tors en­counter the ex­hibit’s only di­rected se­quencce: They are led across the front yard to the fronnt door of the house. From there, one need only fool­low whims and fan­cies to ex­pe­ri­ence a jour­ney thatt is likely to be dif­fer­ent for each in­di­vid­ual. Th­here is a nar­ra­tive, al­though an open- ended one, in­n­volv­ing the fic­tional Selig fam­ily of Men­do­cino, Cal­i­for­nia. The house has been their home for geen­er­a­tions. What it’s do­ing at the Meow Wolf Art Com­plex in Santa Fe is the re­sult of an aber­ra­tionn, a con­fla­tion of time and space across di­men­sionns. The idea is that the house ex­ists in two places (per­hapsp more) at once, and con­versely, so do we. But aside from the fam­ily’s jour­nals, notes, and ot­ther ephemera, all we see of them is their por­trait, hungh above a fire­place in­side the house. “We are tryinng to re­tain as much of the lit­eral nar­rra­tive in the house,” Meow Wolf coo-founder and spokesman Vince Kad­lubekK told Pasatiempo. “That’ss where nar­ra­tive ex­ists: in the time-t space di­men­sion that wee all live in. This fam­ily is thhe fur­thest along in whatt we call the bloodline, or the cre­ative force, or the anom­aly. It’s a blood­dline that’s ex­isted since the cre­ation of t he uni­veerse. They’re the lat­est con­tem­po­rary hu­man in­car­na­tioon of an evo­lu­tion­ary thread thaat be­gan at the be­gin­ning of time. TheyT have an op­pos­ing force called ‘ the Char­ter.’ The Char­ter has also exxisted since the be­gin­ning of time.” The Char­ter, ac­c­cord­ing to Kad­lubek, ex­ists in con­tem­po­rary form as a coun­ter­part to the FBI, the CIA, the Il­lu­mi­nati, and other or­ga­ni­za­tions that seek to im­pose re­strict­tions. “The larger uni­ver­sal story that’s play­ing outt is the story be­tween chaos and or­der,” he said.

The set­ting is the p re­sent day. To be spe­cific, the set­ting is St. Pa­tricck’s Day 2016, which just so hap­pens to co­in­cide wi­ith the date of Meow Wolf’s grand open­ing. In­side House of Eter­nal Re­turn, the date is al­ways March 177. But the in­ten­tion­ally spotty story of the Seligs is meerely a jump­ing- off point for the rest of the ex­hibitt. It isn’t nec­es­sary or even ex­pected t hat you un­nder­stand it all i n or­der to ap­pre­ci­ate what the exxhi­bi­tion has to of­fer. Most

chil­dren prob­a­bly won’t, but t hat doesn’t mean kids can’t en­joy the in­stal­la­tion. On the con­trary, they prob­a­bly won’t want to leave. It is de­signed, in part, to ap­peal to chil­dren, but also to adults, and to art afi­ciona­dos who can ap­pre­ci­ate its blend of nar­ra­tive art and ab­strac­tion, con­cep­tual flights of fancy as well as its more lit­eral com­po­nents. It is meant to be ex­plored in won­der­ment. The doors of the house, its fire­place, even its re­frig­er­a­tor are por­tals to places and en­vi­ron­ments that vary from nat­u­ral­is­tic to styl­ized, f utur­is­tic, and bizarre. There are cave sys­tems; squat baobab-like trees lit up by black lights in a daz­zling ar­ray of Day- Glo col­ors and sport­ing bi­o­lu­mi­nes­cent fungi; Star Trek­style en­try­ways with slid­ingg pneu­matic doors and col­ored LED dis­plays; a vast two- story shan­ty­town; a desert mo­bile home; a rabb­bit with glow­ing eyes whose mas­sive vis­age guardds the way into a dark cav­ern; a faux aquar­ium; tr­ree forts you can hang out in; a mastodon skeleton whose in­ter­ac­tive ribs can play a melody when stru­uck just so, and much, much more.

“We wanted to re­main ab stract,” Kad­lubek said. “We don’t want the nar­rati­ive to be the dom­i­nant medium. We’re try­ing to cre­ate equal place for all artis­tic me­dia: sound, vis­ual, sculp­tural, and nar­ra­tive as part of that on an equal play­ing field.” Traces of the Selig fam­ily and the Char­ter, too, can be seen here and there, through­out thhe ex­hi­bi­tion, but if there is a res­o­lu­tion to their age-oldd con­flict, that only gets com­pleted in the mind of thee viewer. The ex­hibitt is not the only facet of the new comm­plex, which also boasts a space foor com­mu­nity art projects, a leearn­ing cen­ter, a coffee shop, a gift shop, and a video gamee ar­cade (now you know the kids won’t leave). The shhan­ty­town dou­bles as a 300- per­son- ca­pac­ity per­for mance s pace, wwhich wi ll fe a t ure op­pen­ing- week gigs by Amaanda Palmer and Ja­son We­bll e y, The Hand­some Fa mi l yy, Sa s s mout h, a nd Coco Roosie (see www. me­ow­ ffor de­tails). More than 70 i ndi­vidu­ual spa­ces within t he main ex­hibit of­fer fully im­mer­sive art ex­pe­ri­ences. It took app­prox­i­mately 135 artists and tech­ni­cians to com­ple­tee the pro­ject, and all of them brought their own creeative ex­per­tise as col­lab­o­ra­tors, leav­ing their un ique marks on what is un­doubt­edly the largest in­ter­rac­tive ex­hibit in town, and maybe the en­tire state.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.