Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Meow Wolf

Humans are weird and wonderful creatures. Meow Wolf art collective’s House of Eternal Return is a unique, creative, interactive embodiment of just that.

Built in a former Santa Fe bowling alley and funded in part by George R. R. Martin, the massive 20,000 square-foot exhibit has been visited by tens of thousands of people in the two months since it opened.

The permanent installation is incredible in its scale and variety. Centered around a Victorian-style home, full of relics and documents that beg visitors to uncover a story, hundreds of interactive spaces sprawl in all directions. Crawl through the fireplace, walk through the fridge, exit through the closet, and one enters other worlds.

From squatting baobabs covered with luminescent fungi to a musical mastodon skeleton and futuristic creatures, from LED light instruments in fog-filled rooms to a cartoon kitchen, Meow Wolf embraces an impressive array of visual, auditory, and sensory mediums. The interpretation and meaning are sure to be as varied as the visitors who roam the spaces, free to touch, move, and explore everything around them.

The collective also embraces other aspects of the New Mexico community. The neon shantytown doubles as a performance space. The collective puts on workshops for children. Food trucks ply the parking lot.

After a visit to such a unique space, I was left with an overwhelming sense of gratitude and wonder. Kudos to artists who can collaborate to bring such variety of experience and expression to one place, and to those who can get so many people interested in going to see it.