Smack dab in the middle of Santa Fe, New Mexico, is a once drab bowling alley that now houses a sci-fi interactive play, sans the actors. Built by hundreds upon hundreds of off-kilter artists and sponsored by George RR Martin, Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return is not to be taken lightly.
The 20,000 foot exhibition, the exhibition is an experiment of sorts in non-linear storytelling. From the beginning, guests are encouraged to touch and explore everything they can get their itty-bitty meathooks on.
From rifling through the mail or exploring pill bottles and coat closets galore, surprises and the usual lurk behind every turn as folks attempt to solve the mystery of Selig family.
From there, take a mind trip that rivals any episode of The Twilight Zone.
Behind the fireplace leads to a full-size dino bone xylophone. The fish tank in the living room makes a second appearance as a hallway later in the day as guests become the fishies. Slide down a glitter slide of lost socks hidden in a dryer in the kitchen to land in a portal travel agency. Snoop through mom and dad’s closet to discover a full size piano and a gateway to 1986, complete with Dynamite centerfolds hanging proudly on the walls.
And somewhere among the chaos of itty-bitty Tokyo and under-the-sea living room is the sad and tragic story of the Selig family, who appear to be swallowed by the portals that swarm the Victorian home.
Build by a collective of over 130 artists nationwide inside of a bowling alley donated by Martin, Meow Wolf first opened on March 17, 2016, after two years of construction. While few remnants of the bowling alley still remain here and there, the exhibit itself is transformative.
Hundreds of secret passageways and “portals” leading to different eras and dimensions. Jumping from light harps to fully functioning arcades, The House of Eternal Return seems like an acid-soak visit to the Happiest Place on Earth on the first go round, but all roads lead back to the Seligs and the mystery that surrounds their disappearance.
In the end, the clues are all there and the story is set. Guests are given a task: Get a shovel and dig beyond the madness to find the answer.
Oh, you can also see show’s there. If you can find them.
The Meow Wolf Art Complex is located at 1352 Rufina Circle in Santa Fe, NM.
For more details visit meowwolf.com