On the occasion of Miami Art Week, award-winning stage designer Es Devlin presented Room 2022, a site-specific art installation at the Miami Beach Edition hotel from December 7–10, 2017. The work utilizes the physical characteristics of hotel design to explore the psychology of human experience within these spaces, and the everyday acts of magic and imagination that allow them to function.
Spanning over 7,000 square feet, the large-scale immersive installation begins with a re-imagined hotel room and ends in a vaulted elliptical mirror maze. Along the way, visitors will navigate through layers of choral corridors and a flooded, colour-saturated zoetrope.
Featuring elements of surrealism and wonder, Room 2022 invites its visitors to imagine a new version of the familiar hotel ecosystem.
“Hotels work because everyone in them takes part in a heroic act of collective imagination,” explains Devlin. “We all tacitly agree to suspend our disbelief and subscribe to the illusion that the walls between us are soundproof and life proof and that each room is its own isolated world that can be restored to order by invisible magic while we are out. In Room 2022, I invite the ‘guests’ to participate in a collective exploration and reimagining of this familiar system.”
”Room 2022 is Devlin’s first site-specific art installation in Miami, and her first in a hotel—a conceptual and physical space that Devlin has explored throughout her career. From winding corridors to unseen, internal operations, hotels have offered an architectural metaphor for psychological and social systems in countless works of art, film, and literature, as well as inspiration for some of Devlin’s previous stage designs. Her 2006 design for Don Giovanni in Vienna was set in a maze of hotel corridors and was later reimagined for the Royal Opera House in London in 2014, to include further abstracted designs, with each door representing a life that might have been lived—a corridor of parallel universes.
With Room 2022, Devlin takes visitors on a journey from reality to illusion, starting with the familiar hotel layout and disrupting its habitual geometry. Guests will enter Room 2022, a re-imagined hotel room set within the Miami Beach Edition. One of the walls of the room appears initially as a window, then reveals itself as a cinema screen, finally splitting open to allow visitors to walk through.
Guests emerge into a series of hotel corridors layered with sound and lined with trick doors and dead ends. Eventually, guests will find their way into a semi-cylindrical, colour-saturated zoetrope, which leads them into a vaulted elliptical mirror maze.
The space is a playground for the imagination—where visitors perceive one other in fragments over sliced walls and reflected inverted in mirrored ceilings.
The installation Room 2022 is open to the public Thursday, December 7 – Sunday,
December 10 at the Miami Beach Edition hotel, USA.