Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Meow Wolf Presents: The Due Return

This post is part of a series called the Great New Mexican Adventure, where I detail the things to see and do in New Mexico and determine if they are worth the time, effort, and money.
Courtesy of the Alibi
From the Due Return Website:

The Due Return is a dimension-hopping ship that has been traveling for two centuries through a series of time/spaces. Through its many dimensional travelings, The Due Return has appropriated a variety of elements pulled from the many places it has visited. The Control Room, for instance, is a futuristic, sci-fi spaceship bridge with a multitude of buttons and knobs that the audience can interact with while The Archive carries a refined turn-of-the-century aesthetic.
After traveling for two-hundred years through 30 different time/spaces, The Due Return is now settled on the landscape of a foreign world, where the ship is utilized to harvest resources from the alien planet.
The ship is 75ft. long, 25ft. wide, and 14ft. tall. The interior of the ship is 2500 sq. ft. split between 10 different rooms. These rooms include a food garden, lounge, engine room, sleeping quarters, laboratory, captain’s quarters, archive, and control room. 
With a description like that, there isn't much more that I can add, but I'll try.

If I can sum up the experience in one word I would describe it as detailed. The story of the ship and its crew is so in depth that you would need hours and hours to read it all. The best part is, everything is interactive and you are encouraged to touch literally everything. The lab has gizmos, the control room has knobs and wheels, the sleeping quarters are full of books, there is even a garden full of different plant species that you can imagine being collected from across the universe and time.

When you walk into the gallery you are immediately swept to an alien environment with a gigantic ship docked in the middle of it. There are small caves with alien life forms to explore and then you can walk aboard the ship and examine hundreds of things in 10 rooms. The exhibit is both grand and intricate.

Everything is well designed, but the most immersive aspect of the ship is that everything has a story. You  can pick up one of many journals stowed aboard and there are pages and pages of entries. Every crew member has a story and every story is accessible. Each room has gadgets and gizmos, and to add to the experience there is an iphone app that adds to the feel. You can scan barcodes that bring you to articles about people, items, rooms, etc. You can access the ships logs from the app too (there is a console on board that features the same information).

I admit, I was skeptical when I first arrived. I hadn't been to many art exhibits here in New Mexico that I thought were good. That all changed seconds after I stepped into the gallery. I literally lost track of where and when I was, as I walked around the ship and the environment exploring every nook and cranny. If you are going to be in or near Santa Fe or can afford to make the trip, the Due Return is definitely an exhibit that is a must see. Bring kids, bring friends, but most importantly bring yourself and have a good time. You may even get swept into a new time/space dimension as well.

Information:
www.theduereturn.com
on display until July 10
Center for Contemporary Arts
1050 Old Pecos Trail Santa Fe, NM 87505
(505) 982-1338
Rating: Awesome

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