The Great Ruin of Saturn
The filmic installation The Great Ruins of Saturn was Alvaro Urbano’s first institutional show in New
York, exhibited at The Storefront in 2021. Continuing the artist’s research on urban architectural relics
across the world, The Great Ruins of Saturn envisions abandoned structures as ghosts who linger in the shadows of the present.
In a fictional revisit to the 1964 World’s Fair in Queens, New York, the film in the installation tells a tale of alternate futures through shadow puppetry. With the help of 76 metal sculptures that are featured in the film as well as stationed throughout the installation, a cinematic narrative is performed around the tumultuous rise and fall of the historic New York pavilion, the Tent of Tomorrow. In Urbano’s rendition of history, the pavilion in Urbano’s film comes to life, deviating from its intended purpose of capitalist achievement and choosing instead to escape into outer space, where it finds a new beginning as a satellite among the stars.