The minute you step onto Tomás Saraceno’s spectacular installation high above the Met, your perception of the world around you completely changes. Up becomes down and left becomes right in a very disorienting yet exhilarating way. As Sinatra belted out in “New York, New York,” Saraceno’s perched, roof-bound aerie makes you feel like you’re on the “top of the heap,” as the city’s skyline, Central Park and fragmented views of fellow visitors climbing about Cloud City kaleidoscopically merge, and his magical space station of a piece seems ready to float off at any moment.
Dynamically designed from 20 tons of stainless steel, painted metal and clear acrylic, this visionary sculpture was a couple of years in the making, and grabs the honor of being the 15th installation at one of the grandest outdoor art sites in the world. Saraceno, a native of Argentina who lives and works in Germany, has become a darling of international biennials and a current favorite for new museum projects, thanks to the formula he’s developed for works built on the way that soap bubbles connect. Cloud City is the culmination of his imaginative efforts to date.
Metaphorically, it puts you in The Matrix, where everything that surrounds you becomes fractured like a dream. All 16 attached modules serve as portals, taking you to a new level and a unique experience—an amazing adventure you will never forget.—Paul Laster