On April 14, New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art will unveil its 2017 rooftop commission, The Theater of Disappearance. Against spectacular panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline on the Cantor Roof Garden, the 16-piece installation by Argentinian artist Adrián Villar Rojas is a captivating nod to the museum’s evolution since its landmark establishment in 1870.
“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,” Adrián Villar Rojas muses in his artist statement, “and that the distance between interpretations and facts might be power—the power of an institution or a nation to sanction truth?”
A timely consideration in light of the Met’s recent decision to finally include Native American artworks in the American Wing where they belong, The Theater of Disappearance acknowledges the power of representation; the power of an international institution to either clarify or subvert visual culture and alter how we perceive history.
“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,” Rojas explains.