The crowds may have gone home, but there's still good reason to visit a part of the Great American Eclipse's path of totality in Wyoming. On Tuesday, in the resort town of Jackson, artists erected a series of outdoor, interactive exhibits, which reflect on the Sun, the Earth and the time the former went dark over the latter.
Conceived by artists Matthew Day Jackson and Andy Kincaid, and dealer Camille Obering, who are currently in residence at Jackson Hole's Center for the Arts, "Observatories" offers new impressions of the solar phenomenon through commentaries on commercial tourism, the history of the West, and sustainable practices, reports Caroline Goldstein for artnet News.
"'Observatories' will offer viewers new ways of interpreting the past and present from which to consider the future of this community and its context," the center writes in a description of the exhibit.
Eleven artists were invited to participate in the exhibit, and their site-specific works reflect different perspectives on the eclipse and the small resort town, reports Isa Jones for the Jackson Hole News & Guide.
Greek and Navajo artist Anna Tsouhlarakis, for example, uses reclaimed wood from her family's reservation for "Edges of Her." Composed of a large wooden spiral where visitors can sit in the darkness to reflect, the art is representative of Tsouhlarakis' culture, where people are traditionally taught not to look at an eclipse, but rather stay inside and consider their lives.
Los Angeles-based conceptual artist Glenn Kaino contributes another structure with a dark interior to the exhibit, writes Alanna Martinez for the New York Observer. In Kaino's "Hollow Earth," visitors can enter a shed where a sculpture covered in mirrors offers the illusion of a lit tunnel that goes deep into the ground.
Contemporary Argentinian artist Eduardo Navarro's "We Who Spin Around You," is one more notable installation on view. The work—first conceptualized for the High Line in New York, according to Taylor Lindsay at The Creators Project—invites viewers to stare at the sun through protective masks, while they are given a guided tour of the astrophysical. The piece also includes a working phone booth, where visitors can call the number 1-866-WYECLIPSE. On the other end of the line, they'll hear a recording of Jackson's grandfather reading from the post-apocalyptic poem "There Will Come Soft Rains," reflecting how eclipses have sometimes been viewed as portentous omens.
The series of installations are all intended to get people to think about the total solar eclipse and its implications in a "broad, metaphorical way," as Richer says in an interview with Isa Jones of the Jackson Hole News & Guide—a fittingly large scope for an exhibit commemorating an eclipse that swept across the country.
"Observatories" will be on view through the end of this summer.