perception twisting spectacle

Art, exhibitions

Self-Portrait through Cloud City, at the Met 2012

Cloud City on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, is a gravity defying structure that provokes a dizzying sense of disorientation.  It delicately balances being supported while elevated with an uneasy sensation of feeling lost and weightless, floating high above central park in a cloud-filled maze made for one. (Actually, 15  people can go up at a time, but they spread you out so you do feel alone up there.)  Every surface within the module is a riddle, only deciphered through touch. The walls are mirrors reflecting the infinite sky,  a window to the world above and below, or a hidden doorway that leads you higher and higher. It’s maddening and relaxing and unstable, yet spectacular. I have to hand it to Tomás Saraceno on his first realized habitable environmental structure..his investigation into expanding the ways in which we experience our world is quite revealing. He fragments the environment into a fun house, encouraging us to investigate and discover, feel and explore, turning the view into a cubist masterpiece that you become a part of.

visit cloudcity until November 4, 2012. Read about Cloud City here. 

5 thoughts on “perception twisting spectacle

  1. Wow, that’s crazy amazing, even from the pix – I can barely imagine what the visceral experience must be.

    They’re pretty different I’m sure, but have you been in Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Rooms”? They’re pretty interesting also, although I doubt as “disorienting” as this seems.

  2. Yes, i love kusama. When I worked at the Phoenix art museum I actually heavily researched how to restore our firefly room. I think both pieces provide a disorienting experience of wonder and discovery but they were definitely a different experience. Kusama pulls you into maddening worlds she creates while Tomas uses reality as a starting point and forces us to confront that reality in a new and fragmented way. Both quite thrilling artists.

    Thanks for the comment! You can check out some of my past posts on Kusama by searching Yayoi Kusama in my search side bar -> (I write about her a lot and even made a little video inside PAM’s firefly installation haha)

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