Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Meow Wolf: A New Art World?

Writing for Glasstire (August 14, 2016), Rainey Knudson reports on the arts production company Meow Wolf in her article "Meow Wolf: Dawn Of A New Art World":
Meow Wolf has been getting a lot of press since House of Eternal Return opened in March. The installation has been variously described as "a high-tech storytelling gameworld;" "part haunted house and part jungle gym;" and, in the tepidly enthusiastic phrase of the writer Ben Davis, simply "Big Fun Art." It's wonderful, in the sense that it is literally full of wonder . . . . [I]t is . . . a delightful, vast, immersive fun house created by real artists. It involves, without too many spoilers, a Victorian house that has experienced what appears to be a rift in the time-space continuum and opened portals into multiple fantastical dimensions. There’s an elaborate narrative about the family that lived there, and a mystery to solve. Clues are everywhere. When you buy your ticket, you're told to plan on spending at least two hours inside. "Touch everything," they say. This art installation isn't meant to be passively experienced. It's meant to be played. [The] House of Eternal Return is at once both massive and incredibly detailed. Two leisurely visits of a couple of hours each, and I was still discovering new spaces, each crafted by an artist or a team of artists and technicians . . . . [F]reedom from the art world is the name of the game . . . . [T]he mystery at the core of its Aleister Crowley-ish narrative . . . [is] the first really ambitious project I've seen by a large group of Millennial artists that didn't feel like a bad trip to the desert.
I wonder if this 'permanent' installation owes anything to David Mitchell's novel Slade House. Probably not. The installation is in Santa Fe, New Mexico in an abandoned bowling alley, not that this fact makes any difference - though a 'bowling alley of evil' did make an appearance in his novel Number 9 Dream . . .

Here's the link again to Meow Wolf.



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