Villar Rojas is well known for large-scale sculptural installations that radically disturb the sites he engages with. Through his work, he interrupts the status quo of artistic practice and behaviour within a museum, a site of cultural heritage, a rooftop or public space. He creates unpredictable settings for the visitor to explore, places where we feel uncomfortable or are astounded by the alternative histories he suggests. Concerned with ideas of disappearance, extinction, the passage and volatility of time, Villar Rojas creates a new, and often disconcerting, visual language. This commission sees him negotiating with an archaeological site for the first time as he radically alters both the indoor and outdoor space of the National Observatory. The whole site undergoes a transformation – architectural, horticultural and emotional.
The installation titled The Theater of Disappearance is an umbrella title and part of four separate exhibitions taking place in 2017 across Europe and the US through new independent commissions by all institutions involved. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (April 14-October 29), Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (May 13-Aug. 27), NEON, Athens, (June 1-Sept. 24, 2017) and the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles (Oct. 22-Feb. 26, 2018).
Curator | Elina Kountouri, Director ΝΕΟΝ
About the National Observatory Athens (NOA)
The National Observatory of Athens is the first research Institution established in Greece in 1842. The National Observatory of Athens facing the Parthenon and Thission is one of the landmarks of Athens; it has long been used by Greek and foreign Astronomers as the basis for astronomical, meteorological, cartographical and geodynamical measurements and observations in the more than 170 years long course of its history. Today the buildings of NOA at Thission include an Astrogeophysics Museum, housing clocks, telescopes and other instruments of the 19th century, as well as an extensive 19th century library.