Ernesto Neto makes large-scale installations. The Brazilian artist invites viewers to explore these works using all of their senses. He installed his massive anthropodino inside the Park Avenue Armory in New York City. Built in the 1870s, the Armory originally housed a local branch of the National Guard. Neto created anthropodino in the drill hall, which is in the center of the Armory and has 55,000 square feet of floor space and a ceiling height of 80 feet.
The title anthropodino is a play on the words anthropology and dinosaur. Anthropology is the study of cultures across time. Neto travels frequently and sees himself as an amateur anthropologist. “The anthropologist tries to find a structure for society,” he says. And as a sculptor, he thinks about how to build or find structure for a sculpture and “how to put humanity in it.” With anthropodino, Neto says, he is exploring “the animal that exists in us—the monster, the dinosaur, the imaginary.”
On May 14, 2009, anthropodino opened to the public and ran for one month. In that brief time, more than 30,000 people experienced the interactive sculpture through sight, sound, touch, and smell.