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kenmorefield

Meow Wolf: Origin Story (2018)

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I saw this at SXSW, and it is apparently getting a theatrical "event" via Fathom Events on November 29th. 

There is some good stuff here about the installation art, but the real fascinating stuff (to me) is about whether and how an organic movement can transition into a formal group/business. An argument can be made that what allowed Meow Wolf to thrive was the creative energy of its participants, and the freedom to do whatever they wanted. But with freedom comes limitations--space, money, time. Their bigger projects require organization, and that is anathema to some who define themselves as rebels and outsiders. 

I'm not a huge fan of the art itself, and that keeps the documentary from reaching the top shelf (for me), but it is up there with My Kid Could Paint That as an examination of the disconnect between the art culture, actual artists, and everyday consumers. Worth checking out:
 

 

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George R. R. Martin discusses Meow Wolf with Entertainment Weekly:

 

Quote

 

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did you first encounter Meow Wolf?
GEORGE R.R. MARTIN: It was after I bought the theater. I own a small arthouse theater in Santa Fe, the Jean Cocteau Cinema. It was closed for seven years, then I bought it in 2013, and reopened it in August of that year. So it was probably 2014 when

I first heard about Meow Wolf. It wasn’t from anyone connected with Meow Wolf, it was from a woman I was talking with about ways to publicize the Cocteau. Since I’d reopened it, I’d noticed we were drawing a very old demographic: People my age [laughs] and a few years younger. We weren’t getting the high school or college kids; we needed to reach out to a younger group. One of the people I was interviewing said we should do something with Meow Wolf, they’re doing all these cool events and exhibitions, and they draw a young crowd. I didn’t act on it. I was like, “Meow Wolf, what the hell is that?” But then a few months later, I finally followed up on it. I hired [Meow Wolf co-founder] Vince Kadlubek to do social media for the Cocteau, with that same goal in mind: To get younger people to our theater. He worked for me for six months or so, increasing our presence on Facebook, Twitter, and all of these things that I’m not really a part of and don’t completely understand. But he did! That’s how I knew Vince, from working with that.

And then a couple years later he gave me a call when they were looking at buying the bowling alley and said the infamous last words, “Would you like to buy a bowling alley?” Well no, not really, I’m not much a bowler. But they took me down there, him and other Meow Wolf people, and they walked me through the place. Silva Lanes was the name of the bowling alley, it had been defunct for, again, seven years — something bad must have happened in Santa Fe around 2006 or 2007, because all of these things went under like the Cocteau and the bowling alley, and had just been sitting there. Everything had been gutted, but it was this immense space. They told me their vision for the House of Eternal Return, and it pushed all my buttons. I’m a sci-fi/fantasy guy and hey, a Victorian house lost in time and space, where every door opens to another dimension or another planet? Wow, this sounds really cool. They poked me right there.

 

 

 

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