Exhibitions/ The Roof Garden Commission: Adrián Villar Rojas, The Theater of Disappearance

The Roof Garden Commission: Adrián Villar Rojas, The Theater of Disappearance

At The Met Fifth Avenue
April 14–October 29, 2017
Exhibitions are free with Museum admission.

Exhibition Catalogue

The fifth book in the Roof Garden Commission series offers the artist's commentary and a unique visual diary of his thought process on the 2017 installation.

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Exhibition Overview

Argentinian artist Adrián Villar Rojas has transformed the Cantor Roof with an intricate site-specific installation that uses the Museum itself as its raw material. Featuring detailed replicas of nearly 100 objects from The Met collection, The Theater of Disappearance encompasses thousands of years of artistic production over several continents and cultures, and fuses them with facsimiles of contemporary human figures as well as furniture, animals, cutlery, and food. Each object—whether a 1,000-year-old decorative plate or a human hand—is rendered in the same black or white material and coated in a thin layer of dust.

The artist has reconfigured the environment of the Cantor Roof by adding a new pergola, a grand tiled floor, a bar, public benches and augmented planting throughout the space. The Met's own alphabet has even been incorporated into the graphic identity of the project. To realize this extensive work, the artist immersed himself in the Museum and its staff for many months, holding conversations with the curators, conservators, managers, and technicians across every department who contributed to the realization of this installation.

Please note that access to this installation is weather permitting.

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Installation Views

All photos courtesy of the artist; Marian Goodman Gallery; and Kurimanzutto, Mexico City. Photos by Jörg Baumann


Supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies

Additional support is provided by Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky.

The catalogue is made possible by the Mary and Louis S. Myers Foundation Endowment Fund.