A Hall of Mirrors in Miami

John Hill
25. March 2021
Es Devlin, Forest of Us, Superblue Miami. Photo © Es Devlin

Es Devlin's Forest of Us, made of mirrored surfaces that echo natural structures, is one of the immersive artworks that visitors will encounter next month when Superblue Miami, a new experiential art center located in a former industrial building in the city's Allapattah neighborhood, opens to the public.

Every Wall is a Door is the name of the inaugural exhibition opening at Superblue Miami on April 24, 2021. It consists of large-scale immersive light, video, and sound experiences by Es Devlin, teamLab, and James Turrell. Superblue contends the installations are "as visually spectacular as they are thought-provoking." Devlin's Forest of Us, though it looks like perfect Instagram fodder, is meant to reconnect visitors to the biosphere. According to the artist, the piece was inspired by "the striking visual symmetries between the structures within us that allow us to breathe and the structures around us that make breathing possible: the bronchial trees that exchange oxygen for carbon dioxide within our lungs and the trees which exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen within our environment." A New York Times journalist who got an early peek at the inaugural exhibition described the trio of environments as "trippy, meditative, gorgeous installations" that washed over him "as a respite and solace."

The theme of the installation starts with a short film with images of trees, streams, and other types of branching projected on the wall. (Es Devlin, Forest of Us, Superblue Miami. Photo © Andrea Mora)
Periodically the screen surface opens to allow access to the mirrored labyrinth behind it. (Es Devlin, Forest of Us, Superblue Miami. Photo © Es Devlin)
Visual confusion is heightened by the combination of mirrored surfaces on the curving walls and reflective mylar on the ceiling. (Es Devlin, Forest of Us, Superblue Miami. Photo © Es Devlin)
Devlin has worked for more than two decades in set design, an experience that clearly informs the spatial procession of the artwork. (Es Devlin, Forest of Us, Superblue Miami. Photo © Es Devlin)
The labyrinth consists of numerous dead ends, as seen here, but also an end point, where water, technology, and reflections merge to amplify the intertwining of people and nature. (Es Devlin, Forest of Us, Superblue Miami. Photo © Andrea Mora)

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