The Museum Elevator as Immersive Art

The Museum Elevator as Immersive Art


A New York Times report on a series of elevators designed by Richard Artschwager.  Set to open in 2015, the new elevators will use materials like plastic laminate, glass, and stainless steel.

The elevators will be used by visitors, with the largest at nary 15 feet wide.  Some will also be used to transport art.  According to the Whitney Museum’s press release, “The commission [of the elevators] takes a cue from Janus III (elevator), the first large-scale interactive sculptural installation Artschwager created, in 1981. It is a non-functioning chrome and Formica elevator cab with its own interior lighting. The viewer can enter and press buttons that activate a chorus of sound and recreate the feeling of ascending and descending. Janus III is in the collection of the Museum Ludwig in Cologne and was exhibited in the Whitney’s 1988 retrospective. Artschwager also previously worked on architectural commissions including the design of the façades of Georg Kargl BOX in Vienna and the David Nolan Gallery in New York.”

Janus III: non-working elevator museum piece

Janus III: non-working elevator museum piece



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