Have you ever had one of those dreams, where you’re wandering through a stranger’s house? It’s eerie and beautiful, but somehow wrong. Floorboards creak and a weird humming comes from somewhere below. On instinct, you open a closet door and find yourself stepping into a trans-dimensional wonderland. Oh, but the dream doesn’t end there…
If you’re one of the 500,000+ people who have explored the surreal interactive mega-installment known as Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return every year since it opened in March of 2016, you’ve not only dreamed it, you’ve experienced it. And the experience, as any fan will tell you, is exactly the point.
Whether you’re an amateur sleuth, drawn by the mystery that pervades the house, via clues left behind by the missing tenants, or an avid experience junkie looking for a stimulation fix, Meow Wolf delivers. There’s something for everyone hidden in the most unusual places of the sprawling 20,000-foot installation. Secret passages and portals to the unknown abound, but it’s the details of the house itself that truly inspire.
“The black and white kitchen is my favorite,” says one eager young visitor, while waiting in line for entry. Another interjects, “Yeah, but have you seen the bathroom with the weird floor and the kid swimming in the toilet pipe?” The third, a young lady with glasses and a studious manner, says quietly, “I just want to solve the puzzle, this time.”
Repeat visits, it seems, are as common as school holidays, lending weight to the installation’s name. “We come here every time we’re in Santa Fe,” says one couple visiting from Las Cruces. “Probably two or three times a year. We’re hooked!”
Located in what has lovingly been referred to as “the real Santa Fe,” Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return sits within an abandoned bowling alley and can best be described as an interactive and immersive art gallery. Portals to the unknown are the main draw, but even the most mundane furnishings seem to play with spatial perspectives that cause your brain to question reality.
Visually, the installment is stunning. Mirrors and lights play a huge part in creating the atmosphere. At times it’s like being inside a blacklight poster, at others, on a science fiction movie set. Take the wrong turn and you could end up in a room filled with glowing eyeballs, or a neon forest, stocked with colorful fish.
But look closer at the details. True artistry goes into every square inch, whether it be a handwritten diary filled with pages of entries or posters and signs written in an alien script. Every nook and cranny has a purpose, or at least a surprise. And every discovery feeds into the overall theme of impossible physics that pervades the house.
There aren’t many places in the world where one can have a truly dreamlike experience while awake. Meow Wolf, with its weirdly surreal and topsy-turvy pop experimentalism is one of those. You will want to go early, however, as the installation fills up fast with space-time astronauts and excited children. Most people are courteous, but you may have to wait to push buttons, open drawers, or view a video.
All of which you should definitely do, because in a Meow Wolf experience, adventure awaits in the most unexpected of places. For more information about The House of Eternal Return, visit the website.
This article was posted by David Salcido