Photo credit: Mike & Doug Starn on Metropolitan Museum of Art Flickr
The New York Times tells us that the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is currently bursting forth with a beautiful new installation made completely out of bamboo. Designed by identical twin artists the Starn Brothers, “Big Bambú: You Can’t, You Don’t, and You Won’t Stop” is a growing scaffolding-like exhibit that starts tomorrow. Doug and Mike Starn have been working with rock climbers to lash bamboo poles together to create a jungle of bamboo on top of the museum, which will continue to grow and develop all through the summer.
Doug and Mike, who may be more well known for their photography, have been working on their own bamboo installation in their studio, which was the impetus for this new installation at the Met. The growing scaffolding of bamboo is a carefully planned sculpture that was designed with the help of an architect as well as approval from the NYC Building Department and other city agencies. It’s a combination of art, sculpture and architecture, that the artists compare to “the arteries in your body or in the city subway system.” Bamboo was chosen because it is light weight, strong, can withstand inclement weather.
The installation will consist of 5,000 poles of bamboo sourced from a farm in Georgia and a century-old plantation in South Carolina, and they will be lashed together with 50 miles worth of colorful nylon rope. Visitors to the museum may even have a chance to walk around on the scaffolding, assuming they are fit and wearing proper footwear. From the roof, the typical views of the Manhattan skyline are obscured, but the scaffolding, which will reach 50 feet high during the summer, will give visitors a bird’s eye view or maybe even the feeling that they’re part of a high rise construction project. When the installation is taken down in October, the artists plan on reusing the bamboo in some form or another.