The Barmecide Feast

12:00 PM

I feel sort of guilty sharing this.... as it's now closed. I was lucky enough to make it on the last day that The Barmecide Feast was showing in the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum. However, the reason I'm sharing it is because 1. It was really fucking cool and 2. From what I understand it was previously in L.A. so MAYBE it'll travel to a city near you, and if so DO IT.

The Barmecide Feast by Simon Birch is a 2001: A Space Odyssey Immersive Art Exhibit. A fully realized, full-scale reflection of the iconic neo-classical hotel room from the penultimate scene of Stanley Kubrick's and Arthur C. Clarke's film 2001: A Space Odyssey. It was a temporary exhibit part of the Museum's celebration of the 50th anniversary of the film.

The installation was conceived by Simon Birch and built with help from Paul Kember of KplusK Associates architectural firm. Cosmically (haha) two of Kember's uncles worked as draftsmen on the movie where they designed and drew the original set. The reason this was so serendipitous is that Kubrick notoriously destroyed most of the elements that went into creating his films, when he finished filming. There were no set designs of which to work off of which made creating a recreation difficult.

Visitors were allowed in groups of six at a time for 2 minutes - that made getting photos of the room looking empty pretty easy. We wore protective shoe coverings and couldn't touch anything (understandable) but it still was an eerie and magical experience. As a fan of the film it was quite a dream to be able to wander in the neo-classic meets futuristic bedroom.

If it travels to your city you should definitely check it out. If anything it makes a great photo backdrop. Speaking of which here's an awkward photo of me in the room! The dress was worn intentionally.


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