The Real Unreal will open soon in Grapevine Mills, Texas, the latest of Meow Wolf’s surrealist immersion experiments.
The Real Unreal is the home of a fictional, multigenerational family, and the various rooms and spaces of it take visitors through the stories of those characters. There are no actors, but the story being told by the art installation still has a protagonist, Jared Fuqua, who takes a journey through his imagination, while his family searches to take him home. The story is told through over thirty rooms and corridors, all of them dense with psychedelic art.
One facet of the story begins in the house’s ordinary, bright-yellow kitchen. There’s a missing poster on the fridge for Jared, and opening it reveals a portal to a forest full of twinkling stars and talking birds. The entire experience is like that.
“Everything in our exhibit, we really want to be exploratory,” said Will Heron, the artist liaison for Meow Wolf and a contributing artist himself. “We want visitors coming in and discovering for themselves. We don’t like to say that we’re a super linear story, but rather letting people discover in different forms and fashions what is being told here in this house.”
All of Meow Wolf’s installations are exploratory. Visitors are not meant to follow an itinerary, or see things in a particular order, but to wander and explore and choose what catches their imaginations.
“Meow Wolf is an opportunity for people to get lost and to discover something different, to kind of awaken their curiosities,” said Kelly Schwartz, Meow Wolf Grapevine’s general manager. “We’re an arts organization that is looking to remind people what it’s like to be creative and to remind us all that that creativity lives inside of us.”
Over 40 artists worked on The Real Unreal, almost all local to Texas. The Real Unreal opens on July 14th.