YOU CAN’T, YOU DON’T, AND YOU WON’T STOP
Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden
1000 Fifth Ave. at 82nd St.
Tuesday – Sunday through October 31 (open Monday, September 6)
Recommended admission: $20 adults, children under twelve free
phase 1 slideshow
phase 2 slideshow
New Jersey twins Doug and Mike Starn are in the midst of creating a seemingly living installation on the roof of the Met, a twisting, anarchistic environment made of thousands of bamboo poles lashed together with colored nylon rope that will ultimately rise fifty feet high and one hundred feet long, offering spectacular views of Central Park and the surrounding buildings. The first phase of the six-month project opened April 27, followed by the second phase on August 16. The brothers, whose “See It Split, See It Change” was installed in the South Ferry subway terminal in the spring of 2009, will continue to expand the massive structure through the end of October, adding new paths that visitors can watch being constructed, as the Starns, along with a team of rock climbers, can often be seen working on “Big Bambú” during the day, even while people wander through on the free guided tours. (Museumgoers must sign up at the registration desk in the Uris Center for Education at the 81st St. entrance for the tours; make sure to read the very specific rules before going.)
“Big Bambú” features benches with cup holders, handrails, steps, viewing platforms, and twists and turns that are reminiscent of the Coney Island Cyclone, offering its share of thrills and chills; in fact, the guidelines do not recommend the tour for people with a history of seizures, fear of heights, vertigo, claustrophobia, balance problems, or other physical or psychological conditions. “Big Bambú” is as chaotic as it is spontaneous, connecting the viewer-participant to a fascinating new world growing atop one of the most famous art institutions on the planet. Also on view at the Met now are such special exhibits as “An Italian Journey: Drawings from the Tobey Collection, Coreggio to Tiepolo” through September 19, “Hipsters, Hustlers, and Handball Players: Leon Levinstein's New York Photographs, 1950–1980” through October 17, “Epic India: Scenes from the Ramayana” through October 3, and “Between Here and There: Passages in Contemporary Photography” through February 13.