Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin purchased a sprawling abandoned bowling alley in Santa Fe, New Mexico so an art collective called Meow Wolf could transform it into a bizarre and colorful immersive environment called The House of Eternal Return. Step inside to find 20,000 square feet of trippy black-lit spaces you can literally get lost within, crawling into a fireplace to find an expansive new space full of surreal wonders like neon forests, alien plants and twenty-foot rabbits.
Unlike most art installations, it’s made to be experienced physically, with strange new sights around every corner waiting for you to touch, climb, squeeze and swing your way through all of their secrets. The result of a collaboration between over 100 artists, the House of Eternal Return is a “wild new form of non-linear storytelling which unfolds through exploration, discovery and 21st century interactivity. The premise: Something has happened inside a mysterious Victorian house that has dissolved the nature of time and space. Venture through the house of the Selig family, and discover secret passageways into fantastic dimensions!”
There are no guides, maps or pathways, and you could have a different experience in the space no matter how many times you explore it. At the center of the massive facility is a full-sized Victorian house where everything’s a little bit off: floors ripple, lights come streaming out of drains, refrigerators lead to secret tunnels and even the toilets contain unexpected surprises. You may enter through the front door, but you don’t leave that way. In fact, it’s hard to tell whether you’ll ever leave.
A team of six writers created the story elements, taking cues from the objects the various participating artists produced for the installation. In addition to this art exhibit turned fantasy world, there’s a jungle gym, a children’s museum and a music venue hosting such acts as CocoRosie and Mykki Blanco. Martin has granted Meow Wolf with a ten-year lease to do whatever they want with the space, so there’s plenty of time to plan a road trip to check it out. In the meantime, check out all the photos on Meow World’s Instagram.