Urban Jungles

Starn Twins' Bamboo Installation at the Met

Identical-twin photographers Doug and Mike Starn have entered uncharted jungle territory with their latest work—an installation of 25-foot high bamboo atop the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Big Bambú: You Can’t, You Don’t, and You Won’t Stop, built by rock climbers and supervised by the 48-year-old artists, opened on April 27, but is still a work in progress. As the summer goes on, visitors to the Met’s rooftop will see the project change as the rock climbers add bamboo until the work forms a 100-by-50 foot wave. But before it is taken down at the close of October, museum officials estimate 400,000 visitors will catch a glimpse of Big Bambú. And visitors who arrive early enough to purchase tickets will be able to climb through the paths above the roof’s main level in guided groups of 10 to 15 people twice an hour. Though it may not be an endeavor for those severely suffering from acrophobia, it’s also a chance to face fears—the New Jersey-born Starns, for example, were both afraid of heights when they first conceived the installation. “Just looking up at the ceiling in our studio gave us vertigo,” Mike told The New York Times. “But we got over it as we started building.” The part-performance, part-architecture, part-sculpture project is “about all the things in your life, including those that aren’t planned,” Doug added.