I am going to go out on limb and say that I believe 80% of the people who visit the new roof top installation, The Theatre of Disappearance at the Metropolitan Museum cannot specifically identify what period or country the objects they see are from or if they can be found some place in the Museum. The site-specific piece by Argentinian artist Adrian Villar Rojas consists of 100 items that have have been 3-D scanned, digitally composed, then either CNC milled or 3 D printed and arranged on the rooftop of the Met. Sheen Wagstaff, Leonard A. Lauder Chairman of Modern and Contemporary Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art on the Rojas piece: “In the process, he holds a mirror up to what we do at the Museum, questioning how we elect to present cultural history over time.”
Most of the installation revolves around a series of white dinning tables with the typical party rental chairs. The “sculptures” are perched on the tables. There are a few free-standing black pieces are placed on the rooftop.
Although this installation provides one of the best places to take a selfie in New York City, obviously the Met’s curator Sheena Wagstaff had other objectives in selecting Villar Rojas for this project.
“The Theater of Disappearance seeks to dialogue with the vision and division of The Met’s patrimony. An entire cartography of human culture seems to emerge from the Museum’s wings and rooms. Rather than a mirror of facts, the Museum becomes a version of them. America’s map of human activity on earth, a scale-model account of who we are and how we got here.” Adrian Villar Rojas
“What if we discovered that we are in a labyrinth, not a house? What if every classification and hierarchy created to stabilize the world was erased to produce a deeper insight: that there are no facts but only interpretations, and that the distance between interpretations and facts might be power – the power of an institution or a nation to sanction truth?” Adrian Villar Rojas
We are all invited to the dinner party. Take a seat and let the good times rolls…
Theatre of Disappearance
by Adrian Villar Rojas
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Iris and B.Gerald Cantor Roof Garden
April 14 – October 29, 2017
In addition, the replicas of 100 objects occupy a new black, and white gray tiled floor, extension of the existing pergola, new plantings, public furniture and a newly designed bar.