Ancient History

ER2 Image Group transformed an elliptical glass dome into an art installation.

Big Picture

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute, an interdisciplinary center for the study of Middle Eastern civilizations housing more than 350,000 ancient artifacts, ER2 Image Group was tapped to transform the Joe and Rika Mansueto Library Grand Reading Room’s iconic elliptical glass dome into an art installation titled aeon. The install pays homage to 20 Egyptian and Mesopotamian artifacts.

During a residency at UChicago, visual artist Ann Hamilton used early-generation flatbed and wand scanners to create eerie, lively images of the stone and ceramic figures, which ER2 Image magnified to fit the library’s mosaic-like dome – some of the printed graphics measured more than 36 feet tall. ER2 output 7000 square feet of Ritrama Crystal Cling PET Gloss Clear film, utilizing multilayer printing with process color on 25-percent white gradation, with the shop’s EFI Vutek GS3250LX Pro. “This transparent white allowed the sky to show through while still seeing the 4000-year-old relics that have been underground for more than 3000 years staring down from all around the dome,” says Gary Schellerer, VP/partner, ER2 and Big Picture Editorial Advisory Board member. Installers used three lifts to place the graphics, carefully navigating around desks, chairs, counters, and other obstacles inside the library – all while trying to make as little noise as possible in the quiet space.
 

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