Identical twins, Mike and Doug Starn rose to prominence in the 80’s, when their large scale collaborations utilizing photography and scotch tape earned them a place among the art stars of New York. Their work, which has always dealt with transition and impermanence still resonates with themes of life, death, and fragility.
The Starn’s newest work can currently be seen at the Venice Biennale, where Big Bambú is on exhibit. The work was originally unveiled atop the roof of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Its new incantation has been recycled for the transcontinental journey.
In Venice, the piece was recreated utilizing 2,000 fresh bamboo poles harvested from a farm in France. 1,000 poles and several fragments cut from the Metropolitan installation were reused and grafted into the new Big Bambú. Mountain climbers were engaged to install the work, because of their ease with heights and tying knots.
The Starns say :
We are grafting a new Big Bambú and using 1,000 poles from the Met as stem cells, the Venice piece will still be the Metropolitan piece but also a new one, Big Bambú is always growing and changing and becoming something new– as we all are.
Big Bambú is on exhibit at the Venice Biennale through June 15th. In the video below you can see the first day of the exhibition when the installation was still under construction.