Big Bambú to Open April 27April 27- October 31, 2010 (weather permitting) Press preview: Monday, April 26, 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. New York, N.Y. - American artists Mike and Doug Starn (born 1961) have been invited by The Metropolitan Museum of Art to create a site-specific installation for The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, opening to the public on April 27. The identical twin brothers will present Big Bambú, a monumental bamboo structure ultimately measuring 100 feet long by 50 feet wide by 50 feet high in the form of a cresting wave that will bridge realms of sculpture, architecture, and performance. Visitors are meant to witness the creation and evolving incarnations of Big Bambú as it is constructed throughout the spring, summer, and fall by the artists and a team of rock climbers. Set against Central Park and its urban backdrop, Doug + Mike Starn on the Roof: Big Bambú will suggest the complexity and energy of an ever-changing living organism. It will comprise the 13th consecutive single-artist installation for the Cantor Roof Garden. The exhibition is made possible by Bloomberg. Additional support is provided by Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky. The exhibition is also made possible in part by the Jane and Robert Carroll Fund. Rope provided by Mammut Sports Group, Inc. Gary Tinterow, Engelhard Chairman of the Department of Nineteenth-Century, Modern, and Contemporary Art, stated: "Although the Starn brothers are best known for their photographs, in fact their abiding interest is in organic systems and structures, as seen in their photographs of trees, leaves, and snow flakes, or here, in Big Bambú. We are intrigued by the possibilities of this ever-evolving structure on our Roof Garden, which, when animated by the team of rock climbers, will become an organic system of its own." Big Bambú is a continually growing and changing sculpture that will be constructed during the run of the installation from thousands of fresh-cut bamboo poles-a complex network of 5,000 interlocking 30- and 40-foot-long bamboo poles, which will be lashed together with 50 miles of nylon rope. Doug Starn states: "The reason we had to make it so big is to make all of us feel small-or at least to awaken us to the fact that individually we are not so big. Once we're aware of our true stature we can feel a part of something much more vast than we could ever have dreamed of before." The work will embody a contradictory nature: it is always complete, yet it is always unfinished. Working on the sculpture while the exhibition is open to the public, the artists and teams of rock climbers (six to twenty of whom will be present during different phases of the project) will provide visitors with a rare opportunity to experience their work as it unfolds. "It is a temporary structure in a sense, but it is a sculpture-not a static sculpture, it's an organism that we are just a part of-helping it to move along," said Mike Starn. "We will be constructing a slice of seascape, like our photographs, a cutaway view of a wave constantly in motion-our growth and change remains invariable, it is constant and unchanged." This never-resting sculpture will evolve throughout the course of the exhibition: the initial, roughly 30-foot high by 50-foot-wide by 100-foot-long structure will be completed by opening day on April 27; next, the eastern portion of the sculpture will be built up by the artists and rock climbers to an elevation of some 50 feet; and by summer, the western portion of the sculpture will be elevated by the artists and rock climbers to around 40 feet in height. An internal footpath artery system grows within the structure, facilitating the progress of the organism. The ephemeral state of the work will be documented by the artists in various scale photographs and video. Born in New Jersey in 1961, identical twin brothers Doug and Mike Starn work collaboratively with photography and continue to defy categorization, effectively combining traditionally separate disciplines such as sculpture, photography, painting, video, and installation. In spring 2009, the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority's Arts for Transit program unveiled the Brendan Gill Prize-winning See it split, see it change, the brothers' first-ever public commission, which is installed permanently in the South Ferry subway terminal. Their work has been exhibited internationally and is included in public and private collections worldwide. Their solo exhibitions include Gravity of Light (2004, 2008), Absorption + Transmission (2005, 2006), Behind Your Eye (2004), Absorption of Light (2001-2003), and Size of Earth (1997). They live and work in the New York area. The installation will be featured on the Museum's website at http://www.metmuseum.org/. Doug + Mike Starn on the Roof: Big Bambú is organized by Anne L. Strauss, Associate Curator of the Department of Nineteenth-Century, Modern, and Contemporary Art at the Metropolitan Museum. * * * Special Ticketing to Explore Elevated Pathways Visitors, in small groups, will have the opportunity to explore the elevated pathway network of Big Bambú during short tours with designated, Museum-trained guides. Visitors will ascend and walk an internal system throughout the dense structure, roughly 20 to 40 feet above the main level of the Roof Garden. Tickets for the special guided tours of the elevated pathways are free with Museum admission and will be available daily on a first-come, first-served basis during Museum public hours. Information may be found, beginning April 23, at http://www.metmuseum.org/special/se_event.asp?OccurrenceId=%7b9C6923D2-D348-4761-BEB3-A943934068D2%7d. Viewing throughout the main level of the Cantor Roof Garden-both around the periphery of Big Bambú and through its base-will remain free for all visitors with Museum admission. * * * A conversation between the artists and Anne Strauss about the creation and evolving nature of Big Bambú will be available as a free audio Met Podcast episode at http://www.metmuseum.org/podcast/and as a cell-phone and Audio Guide message when the exhibition opens on April 27. The Audio Guide is sponsored by Bloomberg. *** The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden opened to the public in 1987. Doug + Mike Starn on the Roof: Big Bambú is the thirteenth consecutive single-artist installation featured on the Roof Garden. The past 12 annual installations have presented large-scale works by Ellsworth Kelly (1998), Magdalena Abakanowicz (1999), David Smith (2000), Joel Shapiro (2001), Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen (2002), Roy Lichtenstein (2003), Andy Goldsworthy (2004), Sol LeWitt (2005), Cai Guo-Qiang (2006), Frank Stella (2007), Jeff Koons (2008), and Roxy Paine (2009). * * * Sandwiches, snacks, desserts, and beverage service-including espresso, cappuccino, iced tea, soft drinks, wine, and beer-will be available at the Roof Garden Café daily from 10 a.m. until closing, as weather permits. A martini bar will also be open on the Roof Garden on Friday and Saturday evenings (5:30-8 p.m.).
# # #NOTE TO MEDIA: Accredited press covering Doug + Mike Starn on the Roof: Big Bambú who would like to visit the elevated pathways must make an appointment in advance with the Communications Department (tel 212-570-3951, fax 212-472-2764, email email@example.com). Guidelines for press visits during the run of the exhibition will be available in the Press Room of the Museum's website at http://www.metmuseum.org/.