Rain Underground: Buffalo Bayou Park’s Cistern welcomes its first installation

Digital rendering of 2iPM009 for Rain: Magdalena Fernández at the Houston Cistern by Jean C. Giallorenzo; Courtesy of M. Fernández.

When Buffalo Bayou Park opened in October 2015, few features were more anticipated and buzzed about than the Cistern, an underground cavernous structure featuring 200 slender, 25-foot high concert columns. Its size and reminiscence of the ancient Roman cisterns in Istanbul demanded something grand be done within it. To date, more than 16,000 visitors have experienced the space.

Buffalo Bayou Partnership (BBP) chose to honor the Cistern and its historical significance – it was originally a City of Houston water reservoir built in 1926 – by repurposing it to become a grand space to house an ambitious program of changing art installations.

The first such installation opens December 10, 2016. Co-presented by BBP and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) and underwritten by the Kinder Foundation and The Brown Foundation, Inc., Rain: Magdalena Fernandez at the Houston Cistern will feature 2iPM009 from the Venezuelan artist’s video series Mobile Paintings. 2iPM009 is an abstract video-projection piece that evokes a rain-soaked night on the columns of the exhibition space, reflected in the shallow pool of water on the Cistern floor. The accompanying soundtrack comprises a Peruvian choir who snap their fingers, slap the palms of their hands against their legs, and stamp their heels on wood to evoke both the drumming and gentle patter of rain.

The installation will be on view through June 4, 2017. To learn more about the Cistern or for Rain ticket information, click here.