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The Roof Garden Commission: Dan Graham with Günther Vogt

Featuring time-lapse photography of its installation, Ian Alteveer—associate curator in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art—and artist Dan Graham discuss the inspirations and logistics of the Met's 2014 Roof Garden Commission, Hedge Two-Way Mirror Walkabout.

Ian Alteveer: This is the second in our new series of Roof Garden Commissions that are meant to really look at this space and treat it in all its specificity. The Roof Garden, of course, has a spectacular view of Central Park. There is this tension between the man-made and the wild that got Dan very excited.

He's famous for making pavilions of glass and steel, and he calls them pavilions in order to relate them back to historical garden follies. These are structures that are not quite sculpture, not quite architecture—they're more pleasure palaces, for play or leisure.

The little hillock I'm sitting on, it actually disguises a very complex structure underneath. And on top of that is a beautiful synthetic grass that creates a really inviting environment for the public as well. Dan has been using a two-way mirrored glass; sometimes you're not sure what side of the glass you're on, or the other person is on.

Dan Graham: This one is called Two-Way Mirror Hedge Labyrinth Walkabout, because it is experienced as you walk around it. It's designed as a fun house; you get changing concave-convex mirror situations.

Ian Alteveer: The word that comes to mind I think instantly in talking about this pavilion is that it's a "hybrid": part sculpture, part architecture, part transparent, part reflective. It's part garden maze, part skyscraper facade. He's not interested in making buildings as much as he is in talking about buildings and landscape. It's a work that I think is super successful because it engages so well with this site, but then again transforms the site into something that we've never seen before up here.

Director: Christopher Noey

Editor: Jessica Glass

Camera: Kate Farrell, Jessica Glass

Time-Lapse Photography: Thomas Ling

Additional Photography: Hyla Skopitz

Graphic Design: Natasha Mileshina

Production Assistant: Marina Zarya

Music: "Roam" by Satori
Available on the Free Music Archive,, under CC by an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.

Produced by the Department of Digital Media, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in conjunction with the exhibition The Roof Garden Commission: Dan Graham with Günther Vogt, on view through November 2, 2014.

The exhibition is made possible by Bloomberg.

Additional support is provided by Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky.

© 2014 The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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