The rooftop mojito bar is missing, but it doesn’t matter to the art lovers trekking up to the Met’s rooftop. The Roof Garden Commission: Héctor Zamora, Lattice Detour, on view through December 7, invites you to stroll around Héctor’s undulating wall and experience what it feels like to have your ideal, verdant view of Central Park and the soaring skyline partially interrupted.
On a bright, sunny day (and New York as had many recently), Metropolitan Museum visitors are taking the time contemplate this simple, provocative, statement by a Mexican installation artist. Héctor’s wall is only 11 feet high and made of see-through bricks – the kind created to let air and sun pass through courtyard walls in steamy Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Latin American climates.
For this Met installation, Héctor had the blocks for the wall made from Mexico’s earth and asked a crew of Mexican and Latin American builders to hand-craft it the traditional way. As you circumnavigate Héctor’s wall, you have to position yourself just right to get a good view, and then it’s only a tiny, tiny fraction of what lies beyond.
And you have to be close, which lets you appreciate the artistry of the patterns and tunnels of the lattice, which also casts geometric patterns on the roof.
Héctor’s hope is that his installation enables quiet contemplation on thinking about the world that lies just beyond the walls of the Met. If you free-associate about walls, national borders, or larger societal issues, OK, but Héctor presents his architectural statement in a straightforward manner – basic building blocks that originated in ancient times. You can create the experience what you want.
Take a tour of the installation in our Flickr album, enjoy the spectacular rooftop views in this Met’s video, and hear Héctor Zamora talk about this work with Met curator Iria Candela: