You enter The House of Eternal Return, you’re not sure what that entails. You know very little about this place; it’s Meow Wolf’s first permanent art installation and visitors are meant to ponder the story behind the house. The House of Eternal Return is an old Victorian stuck on the day March 17th, 2016—the story is: a family of four lived there, then mysteriously disappeared. When crawling through fireplaces and refrigerator portals, patrons are encouraged to figure out how the Selig family disappeared.
You enter the house after a brief video; to your left, there’s a nook, for reading or coloring—it has an evening view through a bay window.
To your right, the living room; it looks normal, but then you look closer. The dining room walls melt into plaster and wallpaper creases, the fireplace glows ominously across from a fish swimming through mini naked neon trees the size of your pinkies.
You head for the stairs, but you’re cut off by a woman who opens a Harry Potter style door under the stairs and ducks under, you follow her. Behind the door is a room of low-lighting, plants dangling from the ceiling and an ocean view through sticks from a weaved bird’s nest.
You look up through a rounded window pane at a white paneled hallway with doors that open with the scan of your hand. This is just the beginning, you haven’t seen the plethora of realms to be discovered. You cozy up in a Southwest trailer and admire a desert view through orange hued Plexiglas.
On the other side of the trailer, you explore through a surreal room, you jostle on padded old wash rags cut into grass-like strips and patches. From the ceiling dangle mint and periwinkle vines, they vary in hues, changing in candy colored light.
You journey through a pitch black room, when suddenly white rays of light barrel through the room, they mosh to harp strings plucked by an 8 year old boy and his dad.
Exit right, you wander into hiding doors and subtle stairwells. Somehow you find yourself in a forest of neon naked trees, lining the perimeter of a life sized fish tank. You wave to the floating astronaut, suspended in water you can only imagine.
You don’t stop after you’ve walked around twice, you continue to hop from room to room. In an arcade you play Galaga, you die several times. One hundred glowing eyes cluster the inside of an astrological dome, you lay in a bean bag on Astro-turf and watch them watch you.
A kaleidoscopic video is projected in the father’s home office; next door a black and white room mocks an old Mickey Mouse cartoon, you hear rusty trumpets blow through dusty speakers, hidden somewhere behind a cardboard 1930’s Crosley radio.
The House of Eternal Return, you have learned, entails a house that leads you to realms you’ve never been before, but returns you to destinations you have. Whether it’s the tree house, the front porch or the downstairs level— you eternally return somewhere.