It was one of those days when Manhattan felt like it was underwater: The air was soupy with August humidity, and a sheet of sweat covered my body as I made my way to 46th Street and Broadway. I had convinced exactly zero friends to come with me to see conceptual artist Mel Chin’s new exhibit about climate change, not because they weren’t interested in the subject but because of its location; New Yorkers will do anything to avoid Times Square. It’s like being in a crowded rush-hour subway, except you’re surrounded by seven-story billboards and thousands of tourists.
Damp and dewy, I arrived at Unmoored, a “mixed reality experience” that “imagines a future in which New York is underwater, as projected by climate scientists,” according to the exhibit’s website.
About 10 people in Disney character costumes were milling about, hoping tourists would take pictures with them and then tip them. I could see the sweat glistening in openings of the polyester costumes of Olaf, Elsa, Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, Iron Man, and two identical Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
The exhibit has two parts: The first is Wake, a 60-foot long sculpture that evokes the skeleton of a ship... Read more