Adrián Villar Rojas installs banquet of hybrid sculptures on roof of New York’s Met
Theater of Disappearance Installation on roof of the Met in New York by Adrian Villar Rojas

Adrián Villar Rojas installs banquet of hybrid sculptures on roof of New York’s Met

Argentinian artist Adrián Villar Rojas has created a plaster-cast dinner party on the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, featuring characters and objects brought together from across the museum's vast collection.

The Theater of Disappearance was created for The Met's annual Roof Garden Commission.

Theater of Disappearance Installation on roof of the Met in New York by Adrian Villar Rojas

It includes replicas of over 100 historic and contemporary items, which have been 3D scanned and digitally composed together.

The pieces were arranged in, around and on top of each other to form hybrid interpretations of the artefacts, then either CNC milled or 3D printed.

Theater of Disappearance Installation on roof of the Met in New York by Adrian Villar Rojas

The entire installation is coated in automotive paint to ensure it isn't damaged by inclement weather.

"It's an incredibly elaborate method of production," curator Beatrice Galilee told Dezeen.

Theater of Disappearance Installation on roof of the Met in New York by Adrian Villar Rojas

Most of the installation revolves around a series of all-white dining tables, arranged in diagonal lines across the museum's Iris and B Gerald Cantor Roof Garden – which boasts panoramic views of Central Park and the Manhattan skyline.

The thick tabletops rest on rows of chairs along either side, although some of the seats are occupied by the sculptures.

Theater of Disappearance Installation on roof of the Met in New York by Adrian Villar Rojas

Some of the party guests are partially sunk into the table surfaces, while others appear to be interacting with each other.

Smaller objects like tableware from across the Met’s various collections – from Ancient Roman and Greek, to African art – are also scattered across the scene.

Theater of Disappearance Installation on roof of the Met in New York by Adrian Villar Rojas

Other pieces that stand away from the banquet are picked out in black, but were created in the same way.

Of these, characters from The Kiss sport bunny ears, while the head of an Egyptian dignitary is held up in the air by a young girl.

Theater of Disappearance Installation on roof of the Met in New York by Adrian Villar Rojas

At the end of the garden, a towering totem thrusts into the sky like the many skyscrapers behind.

The idea for the site-specific installation came from The Met's early history, when plaster casts of masterpieces were shown before the real artefacts were acquired.

Villar Rojas' intention was to question the ideological stance of the museum and how it chooses to present its vast collection.

Theater of Disappearance Installation on roof of the Met in New York by Adrian Villar Rojas

He went of a scavenger hunt around the museum to pick out the pieces to include, then purposefully jumbled them up to remove any hierarchy and erase classification.

Theater of Disappearance Installation on roof of the Met in New York by Adrian Villar Rojas

"The Theater of Disappearance seeks to dialogue with the vision and division of The Met's patrimony," said the artist. "An entire cartography of human culture seems to emerge from the museum's wings and rooms."

"Rather than a mirror of facts, the museum becomes a version of them."

Theater of Disappearance Installation on roof of the Met in New York by Adrian Villar Rojas

The installation is on show at The Met's main Fifth Avenue location from 14 April to 29 October 2017, weather permitting.

Previous commissions for the roof garden have included last year's Psychobarn installation by Cornelia Parker, and Pierre Huyghe's 2015 piece that featured an aquarium of ancient species.

Photography is by Mario Caporali.

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Theater of Disappearance Installation on roof of the Met in New York by Adrian Villar Rojas
Theater of Disappearance Installation on roof of the Met in New York by Adrian Villar Rojas
Theater of Disappearance Installation on roof of the Met in New York by Adrian Villar Rojas
Theater of Disappearance Installation on roof of the Met in New York by Adrian Villar Rojas
Theater of Disappearance Installation on roof of the Met in New York by Adrian Villar Rojas
Theater of Disappearance Installation on roof of the Met in New York by Adrian Villar Rojas
Theater of Disappearance Installation on roof of the Met in New York by Adrian Villar Rojas
Theater of Disappearance Installation on roof of the Met in New York by Adrian Villar Rojas