Meow Wolf is an art collective based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, consisting of around 150 artists. They recently opened one of their largest scale exhibitions to date in the shape of a fully interactive art environment under the title ‘The House of Eternal Return’.
The exhibition was created inside of an old and disused bowling alley that was purchased by none other than Game of Thrones creator George R.R Martin, a native of Santa Fe and supporter of Meow Wolf. The building was provided to the group to complete an ambitions large-scale exhibition, which looks very much like it belongs in a fantasy world of its own, taking inspiration from various sources.
“The group has long been inspired by monumental works of art,” Vince Kadlubek, one of Meow Wolf’s organizers explains. “But I think we are equally inspired by arcades, theme parks, Burning Man, grocery stores, nature—immersive spaces. At the heart of it we are probably most inspired by the forts we built growing up and certainly Nickelodeon, MTV, Jim Henson, Tumblr, and Twin Peaks.”
The madcap world features a house at the centre of the exhibition, where you enter through the front door but exit through various other locations that open other sections of the incredible excitation that are re for exploration.
When in this house you can meet the inhabitants of the home and guests are urged on to explore the ins and outs of the entire exhibition, touching and feeling things as you discover them. You can even discover the secrets of this family and the goings on of the strange world created here, finding clues as you go along.
Needless to say this was an ambitious exhibition that provides a unique experience for visitors. It took all of 18 months to complete, with different aspects of the interactive story unravelling as they designed various sections of the exhibition.
“We had a team of six writers who had a specific story arc with specific plot points and characters, but much of the story elements were written from backgrounds of the objects and spaces that were being created,” said Kadlubek. “Our creative process is not top-down. It is lateral.”
Admission costs $15 for locals from New Mexico, while out of state visitors are charged $18. There are plans for musicians to perform at the venue too.