Immerse yourself in a world of black and white madness. Enter an almost psychedelic world where reality, absurdity and estrangement baffle the senses.
On entering the recently renewed Queens Museum, visitors are struck by the enormous mural in the atrium. Although gigantic in its proportion, it’s only an introduction of what’s to come. In two more secluded rooms, the artist is creating an all enveloping experience of strong, sometimes harsh imagery.
Peter Schumann, creator of the Bread and Puppet Theatre, is bringing old and new work together. Some of his sculptures have been used in anti-war demonstrations in different places all over.
The first room brings an overwhelming quantity of information and messages. Surrounded by large scale papier-mâché heads and painted wall coverings, it’s like walking through a forest of impending doom.
The second room is conceived as a chapel in a medieval monastery. It contains idols-dolls-puppets and saints with absurd names in bread cradles. Walls and floors are covered with repeated symbols of ladders, chairs, shoes, houses,…
At the same time it’s a library. Large volumes of hand-made books are on display and visitors are welcome to browse through them. It’s a scriptorium, where monks are bending over large parchment books, painstakingly copying texts, reading the bible or writing down history.
If this “irreality” already gets to you, we would strongly recommend that you DO NOT read the two explanatory pages that accompany the exhibition.
Peter Schumann – SHATTERER HOUSE AND CHAPEL WITH LIBRARY – QUEENS MUSEUM, NYC, till March 30, 2014