Big Bambú

Big Bambú on the roof of the Met.

I love art that isn’t static, that changes over time, develops, alters, with the transformations part of the work itself. Currently on the top of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, twin brothers Doug and Mike Starn are exhibiting and constructing the Big Bambú. The rest of the installation’s title is: You Can’t, You Won’t, And You Don’t Stop. I visited the huge mass of crossing bamboo poles on a late Friday afternoon, walking under the dense lattice (there is also a path that goes up through it, although it wasn’t open when I was there, I think you need a special ticket, and to have absolutely no fear of heights).

Inside the Big Bambú

During its entire summer to fall run, the brothers will be working on building the Big Bambú taller and taller, aiming to have it be 100 feet long, 50 feet high, and 50 feet wide at the end. They work up in it with a team of climbers during museum hours, so visitors walk under the piece while the artists are at work above. It is made completely from hundreds of bamboo poles lashed together without any other support, but I assume they know what they’re doing or at least have some engineers around to advise.

View to Central Park.

Mike and Doug Starn are also the artists behind the beautiful installation in the South Ferry Station, one of my favorite pieces of subway art. It has mosaics and cut-outs of trees and leaves, I guess in the same nature theme as the Big Bambú. Last summer on the Met’s roof, there was an installation of metal trees. Is this city desperate for an arboretum?

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