Murmuration: the High Museum’s latest outdoor art

A worker assembles part of a structure similar to the "Murmuration" installation that will open at the High Museum July 17. CONTRIBUTED: JAIME NAVARRO
A worker assembles part of a structure similar to the "Murmuration" installation that will open at the High Museum July 17. CONTRIBUTED: JAIME NAVARRO

On July 17 the High Museum of Art will bring another fanciful installation to its outdoor Sifly Piazza.

A series of mesh tents supported by a metal superstructure, “Murmuration,” will go on view July 17 , and remain through Nov. 29.

A “murmuration” is a flock of starlings, and the structure at the High is intended to echo the city’s famous tree canopy and perhaps provide a place for Atlanta’s many bird species to perch.

Beneath this man-made canopy, guests can use the space as a shaded respite and participate in their own “nesting and perching” by using benches and “pods” suspended from the upper structure.

An artist's schematic shows the design of the "Murmuration" structure that will open at the High Museum. It is created by the international architecture firm So-Il. CONTRIBUTED: HIGH MUSEUM
An artist's schematic shows the design of the "Murmuration" structure that will open at the High Museum. It is created by the international architecture firm So-Il. CONTRIBUTED: HIGH MUSEUM

“Our guests will enjoy the opportunity to relax and reflect,” said the High’s director Rand Suffolk, in a statement. “(T)his latest project welcomes visitors of all ages to enjoy some fun, or take a quick break, in our outdoor space before heading into the museum.”

The installation is created by SO – IL, the New York-based joint practice of architects Florian Idenburg, who was born and raised in the Netherlands, and Jing Liu, a native of China. The project was originally scheduled to open in April but was delayed by the pandemic.

The museum will provide a hand-sanitizing station to help reduce the possibility of contagion.

"Murmuration" will be introduced as the High reopens, after being closed for almost four months due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Members will be welcomed back July 7 and the public will return July 18.

This project is the latest in a series of playful structures commissioned to enliven the High’s outdoor area.

In 2018 Japanese designer Yuri Suzuki brought the  “Sonic Playground” to the the piazza; Spanish designer Jaime Hayon’s introduced Atlanta to the “Merry Go Zoo” in 2017 and “Tiovivo” in 2016;  and Mexican designers Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena installed “Mi Casa, Your Casa” and “Los Trompos” (“The Spinning Tops”) in 2014 and 2015.