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High Stakes: Doug and Mike Starn on the Roof — Big Bambú

Big Bambú

One of the more awe-inspiring art experiences in New York this summer has to be Doug and Mike Starn on the Roof: Big Bambú. If you’re in town before the show closes on Oct. 31, this exhibit is a must-see: the outdoor installation, made up of 5,000 interlocking 30- and 40-foot-long bamboo poles and 50 miles of nylon rope, rises above the rooftop garden of the Metropolitan Museum of Art like a precariously fashioned Tower of Babel, or a spontaneous eruption of a bamboo forest in Central Park.

Since opening in May, the tree house-like structure, with its soaring ramps and stairs, gives a bird’s-eye view of Central Park from some 50 feet above the museum (non-acrophobic visitors who want to climb to one of the viewing platforms must sign up for one of the museum’s guided tours, and leave those heels at home). For those who prefer to view the piece from the ground, you can watch a team of rock climbers, who have been working continuously on building the structure all summer, as they perch in the bamboo poles, knotting them together to create an ever-expanding organic jungle gym. This ambitious piece by the Starns, twin brothers best known for their large-scale photography, is a perfect respite from the city’s final weeks of concrete heat.

Big Bambú at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is open through Oct. 31, 2010 (weather permitting)

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