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Celebrated Argentinian artist Adrián Villar Rojas is known for his site-specific sculptural installations. For The Theater of Disappearance, the artist mines The Met’s collection, drawing on the five thousand years of world history within its galleries, to create an elaborate ahistorical work. Set atop the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, Villar Rojas’s installation transforms the space into a performative diorama, where banquet tables occupy an oversize black-and-white checkerboard floor punctuated by sculptures that fuse together human figures and artifacts found within the museum. The resulting juxtapositions put forth a radical reinterpretation of museum practices.

This illustrated book is the fifth edition in a series that documents and contextualizes The Met’s annual rooftop commissions. The introductory essay by Beatrice Galilee explores the conceptual framework that informs Villar Rojas’s remarkable commission as well as his interventions around the world. While exploring the Museum, Villar Rojas took thousands of photographs of objects and moments of interest. A selection of these images is featured here alongside the artist’s commentary, offering a unique visual diary of Villar Rojas’s thought process as he developed this arresting installation.