By Laura Werling

Photo taken by Laura Werling

This summer the Metropolitan Museum of Art is exhibiting Tomas Saraceno on the Roof: Cloud City on the beautiful Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden. Cloud City is a larger than life sculpture consisting of octagonal modules made from reflecting and transparent materials. The modules are connected in an asymmetrical, nonlinear configuration, and have steps and ladders for visitors to climb and experience the structure from within. The mirrored surfaces that reflect the lush greens of Central Park are juxtaposed with the surrounding skyscrapers and blue sky. The people walking below, around, and inside it are staring at their images bouncing back and around them. New York City is a vital part of the piece; constructing the structure anywhere else would change it entirely.

Saraceno’s use of reflective and see-through materials has made the piece something each individual can experience differently. Each viewer may see it from a different angle and a different vantage point, creating a completely personal understanding of it that is uniquely theirs. My experience visiting the structure was an interesting one; I walked around the piece, staring up at it and taking pictures at intervals along the circumference. I experienced times when I was standing in a place where I was the only person being reflected on a certain panel, high up above me, even though the piece was surrounded and inhabited with other visitors. It just so happened that I was positioned in a spot where the mirrored side of one of the modules was at such an angle that limited its reflective capabilities. This is just one of the experiences of visiting the exhibition, among endless possibilities of potential experiences.

Photos taken by Laura Werling

The artist, Tomas Saraceno, was born in Tucuman, Argentina, in 1973. In his career, he has explored human interaction in our own environments, and examined ways to expand how we inhabit and behave within them. Saraceno creates habitable networks that are constructed through complex geometries and interconnected like molecules or a constellation. Saraceno’s work has blurred the lines between art, architecture, and science. The exhibition runs through November 4th, 2012 at the Metropolotan Museum of Art on the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden.

Originally published July 2012
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