It covers the museum’s roof, which this afternoon is bathed in 70-degree sun and populated by Rojas’s sculptural installation and a crowd of visitors. Some came for the art, others for the rosé and the view (it overlooks a green expanse of Central Park). But even the latter set find their curiosity piqued by Rojas’s work.
They’ve all just made the long trek to the Met’s roof. There’s no special entrance that leads museumgoers straight to the top of the vast building. So visitors must—at the very least—pass a statue of Egyptian Pharaoh Amenemhat II in the museum’s entryway, and through halls containing a trove of
, before arriving at the elevator.
Even if you beeline, it’s hard not to register at least some of the treasures on your path: amulets forged by Vikings, jewelry worn by emperors, stained-glass windows that decorated 13th-century Parisian churches.
So once you arrive at Rojas’s installation—the banquet tables topped with copies of sundry objects from the museum’s collection and figures of all shapes and sizes—some of its details might look familiar. I immediately recognize one vessel: a funny little sculpture of a bull, with a big rear, tiny tail, spout for a mouth, and handle affixed to its back. It mounts a half-eaten apple and sits next to a fallen goblet and an intricately decorated shield.
I can’t remember where, in the massive labyrinth of galleries at the Met, I’d seen the animal-cum-decanter. And I certainly can’t recall when, or where in the world, it was made. But the longer I walk around the installation, taking in its array of objects and artworks piled on top of and embedded into each other, the less it seems to matter.