“In 1965, at the Instituto Di Tella in Buenos Aires, Marta Minujín and Rubén Santantonín devised the now-legendary environment La Menesunda. This intricate labyrinth sought to provoke visitors and spur them into action, offering new modes of encounter with consumer culture, mass media, and urban life. While La Menesunda was created as a direct response to street life in Buenos Aires—the title is slang for a confusing situation—the work, alongside that of Christo, Allan Kaprow, Claes Oldenburg, Niki de Saint Phalle, and others, counts among the earliest large-scale environments made by artists, demonstrating how Minujín anticipated the contemporary obsession with participatory spaces, the lure of new pop-up museums, and the quest for an intensity of experience that defines social media today.
Occupying the Museum’s Third Floor, La Menesunda is composed of eleven distinct spaces through which visitors move, one at a time. Entering the work through a doorway in the shape of a human silhouette, visitors must then climb a set of stairs and proceed through a series of narrow hallways and staircases, discovering new spaces and situations intended to surprise and shock along the way. Moving through an environment simulating human intestines, a refrigerator, and the interior of a woman’s head, visitors encounter live performers and moving parts triggered by the visitors’ own actions; they emerge transformed by an encounter with unexpected textures, forms, and sensations. In 2015, the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires presented a reconstruction of La Menesunda. The New Museum’s presentation of the work—titled Menesunda Reloaded—marks the second recreation of this installation, and its first-ever presentation in the US.” — New Museum
Photographs by Corrado Serra.
Marta Minujín: Menesunda Reloaded is curated by Massimiliano Gioni, Edlis Neeson Artistic Director, and Helga Christoffersen, Associate Curator.
La Menesunda is co-produced by the New Museum and the Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires.