It happens every time: The credits roll on another Wes Anderson movie, and the curtains close on the whimsical universe he’s created. You’re ejected from the symmetrical, 1970s-colored trance of his movie sets into the cold reality of an asymmetrical, 2014-colored world. But talk of a theme park masterminded by Anderson and long-time collaborator Mark Mothersbaugh, co-founder of the new wave band Devo, hints at the possibility of a real-life counterpart to these fictional worlds.
In the foreward to Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia, a new book by Denver Museum of Contemporary Art Director Adam Lerner, Anderson describes the vision: “It will include hundreds of animatronic characters and creatures, rides through vast invented landscapes and buildings, extensive galleries of textiles and sculptures, plus an ongoing original music score piped-in everywhere.”
But Anderson will play the role facilitator rather than chief visionary; the theme park is intended to be “conceived and designed entirely” by Mothersbaugh. The pair has enjoyed a long working relationship, with Mothersbaugh scoring many of Anderson’s movies (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou). And Mothersbaugh is an accomplished visual artist in his own right, having worked in a variety of visual media since before co-founding Devo.
A glimpse inside Myopia offers a testament to a diverse array of influences, from pop art to punk, on Mothersbaugh’s self-described “particular brand of fear/enthusiasm for this flawed creature called Homo sapiens.” And though a theme park based on this vision seems a far cry from Disneyworld, Anderson’s promise that “the visitor will be amused and frightened, often simultaneously,” suggests that the two might not be so different, after all.
Should it come to fruition, the theme park will be located in Mothersbaugh’s birthplace of Akron, Ohio.
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