Last week, Hudson Yards officially opened in New York, making its mark on Manhattan and the world. The cultural destination, now aplenty with fashion and cuisine hotspots, also welcomes a special art space—Snark Park. Conceived by the New York-based design studio Snarkitecture, presented at 20 Hudson Yards on the second level, the space is a mix of art, architecture, and retail. “We are thrilled to bring Snark Park to New York and to become a permanent fixture in the city’s robust cultural landscape,” says Snarkitecture partner Daniel Arsham. “At Hudson Yards, Snark Park will reveal an entirely new and unexpected experience that marries museum-quality installations with an exclusive retail component.”
Up front, visitors can grab limited-edition merchandise (like Snarky, the ghost plush toy now available at the site) and a snack from KITH Treats before making their way back to the exhibition space. That environment is set to reveal three immersive exhibitions each year and is now inaugurated with “Lost and Found”—an exhibition anchored by Snarkitecture’s monochromatic landscape, dotted with white totems adorned by mirror tiles, acoustic paneling, cork, latex, faux fur, and latex. The show is also complemented by a special audio piece by the Polish electroacoustic musician Jacaszek.
Before its opening last week, Whitewall spoke with Snarkitecture partner Ben Porto about what visitors can expect at the experiential space.
WHITEWALL: Tell us a bit about Snark Park.
BEN PORTO: Snark Park is a permanent exhibition space within Hudson Yards that will house a rotating series of immersive installations by our studio, Snarkitecture. It lives as an incubator for our practice—a marriage of art, architecture, and retail. We are eager to settle deeper into New York—into a public, permanent space entirely designed by our team. The retail component of Snark Park will include an exclusive line of Snarkitecture-designed merchandise, as well as a partnership with KITH treats. We have our own ice cream flavor called the Snark Bite!
WW: Your first exhibition is entitled “Lost and Found.” What’s found here?
BP: For the first installation, we created a modern-day enchanted forest with a series of monochromatic columns. The columns are huge and inhabitable—many are customized with materials, such as mirror tile and ping pong balls; one is lined entirely with white faux fur. Deeper into the installation, visitors will encounter a hidden two-way mirrored room. The installation, while it seems simple at first, engages the viewer on different levels, becoming more complex and intriguing as they move through the space.
WW: The exhibition is complemented by a line of custom merchandise, and a partnership with KITH Treats. Tell us a bit about the additional offerings that are found here and nowhere else.
BP: We designed a collection of limited-edition merchandise inspired by items found in New York gift shops to sold exclusively at Snark Park including a snow glow, shot glasses, an umbrella, a notebook, and more. Building on our early announcement in January that included an activation at KITH, we’ll debut our Snark Park-designed merchandise in a “drop” format, so to speak, in conjunction with the debut of each exhibition. We also partnered with KITH Treats, who is debuting an exclusive new ice cream flavor called the “Snark Bite.”
WW: How do you feel this addition to Hudson Yards heightens the mixed-use development’s amenities?
BP: Snark Park provides a playful interlude from the traditional retail experience of Hudson Yards. Purposefully hidden from view from the outside, visitors will stumble upon a 60-foot-long claw machine and KITH Treats ice cream. Once inside the installation, visitors of all ages are invited to engage with the installation and consider their surroundings from new perspectives inspired by our plays with materiality and space.
WW: The space is set to show three exhibitions a year. What kinds of works will always be on view in the space?
BP: We always incorporate a sense of play into our work—visual and tactile components are enhanced with monochromatic tones and sensory cues. We have always been intrigued by the way in which children relate to art and architecture and challenge audiences to engage with our installations in a similar way, no matter what age they are. It is such curiosity that continues to inspire our practice. We hope to bring this to each new exhibition at Snark Park.
WW: What type of dialogue do you aim to generate in this space?
BP: We welcome Snarkitecture fans, new and old, to Snark Park. We’re thrilled to do so within the new Hudson Yards. We’re in good company here, with The Shed and Vessel nearby. Also, our proximity to the High Line and even the Whitney couldn’t be better. It is our hope to inspire visitors to engage in the creative dialogue with new perspectives—to ponder the interplay between art and architecture.