This optical illusion project will be installed at Long Island City’s MoMA PS1

Photo courtesy of Dream The Combine

For the 19th year in a row, MoMA PS1 in Long Island City will allow artists to transform its courtyard space into a “responsive, kinetic environment” as part of its Young Architects Program.

Jennifer Newsom and Tom Carruthers were crowned the winners from among five finalists for their project, titled “Hide and Seek.” They will install their project at the museum starting in June to serve as the backdrop for MoMA PS1’s Warm Up, an outdoor music series.

The duo, which creates site-specific installations with their studio Dream the Combine, were inspired “by the crowd, the street, and the jostle of relationships found in the contemporary city” to create this installation.

“In recent years, Long Island City has become more vertical,” said Klaus Biesenbach, MoMA PS1 director and chief curator at large. “With this project, MoMA PS1 will engage horizontally, inviting the neighborhood and our diverse audience to participate in and engage with our programs at eye level. Dream The Combine’s proposal addresses this in both form and content, with participatory architecture to reflect, if not to literally mirror, the here and now in Long Island City and the country as a whole.”

A series of horizontal structures will be installed within the courtyard and will contain two inward-facing, gimbaled mirrors suspended from a frame. The mirrors will move with the wind or human touch, which will create the illusion that parts of the courtyard are shifting.

“As the vanishing points disappear into the depths of the mirrors, the illusion of space expands beyond the physical boundaries of the museum and bends into new forms, creating visual connections within the courtyard and onto the streets outside,” according to a press release about the project.

The installation will also include a runway and a large hammock, inviting visitors to perform in front of the mirrors.

The Minnesota-based duo both have master’s degrees in architecture from Yale. Newsom is an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota School of Architecture and Carruthers co-owns a metal fabrication shop.

The Young Architects Program provides “emerging architectural talent the opportunity to design and present innovative projects” for a temporary outdoor installation at the museum. The program guidelines also call for designs that address environmental issues such as sustainability and recycling.

“As art can and should move through walls, so too does Jennifer Newsom and Tom Carruthers’ architecture that restages how and why communities interact with the museum,” said Sean Anderson, the museum’s associate curator. “The materials deployed will not just be its reflective ‘runway,’ illuminated overhead misting networks, or even an expansive hammock for lounging, but a scaled system that addresses multiple publics with the impassioned statement, ‘You Are Here.’”

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