Dream Rooms: 14 Unreal-Feeling Art Gallery Transformations

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You might have to pinch yourself to ensure that you’re still awake as you walk into surreal dreamscapes of billowing clouds, seemingly endless fields of stars and rooms that appear to bend and shift in physically impossible ways. These installations completely transform gallery spaces into strange new environments that feel disconnected from the waking world. See 15 more surreal art spaces.

Cloudscape Made of Soap Bubbles

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Eight pumps around the room in a Japanese gallery continuously alter a surreal cloudscape entitled ‘Foam.’ The installation, by artist Kohei Nawa, is made up of a pliable combination of glycerin, detergent and water that holds its shape and isn’t affected by gravity. The mixture billows gently, making it seem as if visitors are really in the sky.

Spatial Confusion by Sarah Oppenheimer

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Doorways bend, walls lift up their corners to provide glimpses into adjacent rooms and skewed apertures make it seem as if people walking in nearby spaces are upside-down. Sarah Oppenheimer’s work seems to distort physical spaces, changing the gallery itself to create confusion.

The Flat Side of the Knife by Samara Goldstein

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Do you ever dream about spaces that make no physical sense, with platforms seeming to hover in midair and staircases leading to apparently endless new rooms? With ‘Flat Side of the Knife,’ artist Samara Golden manages to capture that feeling in physical form with a combination of objects made of reflective foam insulation and live video projection. The installation spanned the entire floor-to-ceiling space of MoMA PS1’s first-floor duplex gallery, the various levels representing ‘layers of consciousness.’

Crawling from the Wreckage by Simon Birch

Student visitors pose from inside an installation titled "Crawling from the Wreckage" as part of Simon Birch's solo art exhibition in Hong Kong

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You’ll feel like you stepped inside a 1980s video game with Simon Birch’s ‘Crawling from the Wreckage,’ a highly convincing three-dimensional replication of a computer-generated model. The effect is achieved using glow-in-the-dark paint on gridded furniture within a gridded ‘cell.’