Josiah McElheny’s Island Universe acts as a visual response to recent theories of the multiverse, an elaboration of the Big Bang theory. The monumental installation of hanging chandeliers are modeled on those of the Metropolitan Opera in New York—iconic design objects that were made in Vienna in 1965. That year, the first physical evidence for the Big Bang theory became public, launching popular interest in space science. Exhibition signage was designed to reflect the clean lines of the installation with a nod to midcentury forms.
Installation view at Cantor Arts Center. Photographs by Johnna Arnold.