Immersive art installations are taking over the world. From the Yayoi Kusama Infinity Rooms to Desert X in Coachella Valley, people are traveling far and wide to experience the indescribable.
Enter Meow Wolf, the latest, and no doubt long-lasting, darling of the art world.
The artistic collective, which started in the US way back in 2008, has grown from a group of ragtag artists to a multi-million-dollar enterprise that has secured funding from Game Of Thrones creator George R. R. Martin.
The immersive installation, The House Of Eternal Return, is housed in a former bowling alley in Meow Wolf’s birthplace of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and is a dazzling mix of art, mystery and scavenger hunt.
To begin with, visitors enter through what looks like a typical family home with secret doors in appliances (think everything from fridges to fireplaces) that lead them into myriad alternate dimensions—20,000 square feet’s worth to be exact.
We don’t want to give too much away but the backstory provided to visitors is that the house was once inhabited by the Selig family, but then “something happened” that led to the family’s disappearance and ultimately warped time and space.
It’s been described as everything from a trippy real-life video game, to a murder mystery meets art installation, to a Salvador Dali painting, to sticking your finger in an electrical socket. In short, prepare to make like Alice In Wonderland and surrender to the rabbit hole.
Unlike most galleries where it’s a look, don’t touch policy, at Meow Wolf everything is interactive. You could find yourself climbing a treehouse or crawling inside a washing machine—basically anything is on the cards as you choose your own adventure.
There’s also an open studio on site where you’re encouraged to make your own art, while a music venue boasts a rotating bill of musicians and the occasional monster dance party.
Thanks to the popularity of their Santa Fe exhibit, Meow Wolf is taking their kooky installations on the road, with Area 15, an “experience shopping mall” set in a trippy art bazaar in Las Vegas pegged to open later this year (pre-sale tickets are now available). After that, they’ll head to Denver, Colorado, to create a $60 million, 90,000-square-foot immersive art park in 2020 followed by a permanent exhibit in Washington, D.C. in 2022.
The best thing about Meow Wolf is that no two exhibits are the same so you have the perfect excuse to head back to check out their new additions.
Head here to purchase tickets to the Santa Fe exhibit or pre-purchase for Las Vegas.
Headed to Tokyo? Be sure to check out this Instagrammable display of art and light.
Image Credit: Kate Russell, courtesy of Meow Wolf