Inside the House of Eternal Return by Meow Wolf
While researching popular attractions in New Mexico, I came across a trip advisor post about Meow Wolf, a collective of artists who create surreal, colorful, and weird interactive art installations. Their most recent work, “the house of eternal return”, is located in a warehouse in Santa Fe, and I knew I had to see it for myself. The fact that the building was owned by George R. R. Martin was just icing on the cake.
When you enter the Meow Wolf building and purchase your tickets to the “House of Eternal Return”, you don’t realize that you are about to explore a fully built house inside this warehouse. The door is open and it is clear that people have lived here. The furniture, family photos, newspapers, and letters all tell a story. As you walk through each of the rooms, inspecting and scrutinizing over every detail, you begin to put together a picture of what happened here.
Something is just off about this house.
One minute you’re exploring the house, the next you open a door and are transported to another place. This place is colorful and surreal, but vaguely familiar, like a bizarre dream. Nothing makes sense, and yet it is oddly beautiful. As you explore this new reality, the never-ending maze of rooms and spaces each become stranger and stranger.
Wherever you look there is something to touch and discover. These mushrooms light up upon your touch, giving off the feeling that this place is alive and responsive to you.
Little creatures seem to be hiding around every corner. Are they watching? Are they protectors? Are they devious or friendly? No one knows.
What is this place? A psychedelic trip? An alien planet? An alternate dimension?
Suddenly, in a jarring shift of reality, you open a hidden door and are back in the house again. All the color is gone, and you are left with this strange ordinary house. Even though the alternate dimension is the most bizarre of the two sides, something about the house leaves you feeling uncomfortable. While much of the mystery and story hides here, the call of the alien gardens, the eyeball trees, and fuzzy monsters pull you and you feel yourself drawn there.
And when you decide that you are ready to venture back into reality, your exit lands you abruptly in the gift shop. As your eyes adjust, you try to remember all of what you just saw but it feels so fuzzy like a dream. The gift shop holds hints of what you just saw with pins and tshirt mementos for purchase. You can even take home with you the ominous soundtrack heard throughout the exhibit if you so wish.
Looking back on it, Santa Fe is such a strange place for this surreal wonderland to live, but I am so glad it’s here. I recommend getting out and seeing it before it gets too popular. It only takes an hour or two, depending on if you want to really take the time to read every piece of paper and figure out the story, or if you just want to walk and explore with your eyeballs. The best time to go would be soon after open time or an hour or two before closing. Any other time and you’ll be dealing with high foot traffic, which means more people to have to share the space with. A word of caution: as it got busier, we notice a strong smell of feet and body odor. It wasn’t pleasant, but we powered through it.
Have you ever been to a place as trippy as this? Let us know in the comments!
One minute you’re exploring the house, the next you open a door and are transported to another place. This place is colorful and surreal, but vaguely familiar, like a bizarre dream. >> https://t.co/zxGVjSJOlF . #meowwolf #houseofeternalreturn pic.twitter.com/uTQK8UMItK
— Whole Widen World (@wholewidenworld) December 28, 2017