Grope Mountain installation heads to London and Liverpool

An installation which eroticises the physicality of climbing for lovers is being staged in London and Liverpool to mark Valentine's Day.

Grope Mountain: installation celebrating Valentine's Day
Grope Mountain: installation celebrating Valentine's Day

Devised by experience design studio Bompas & Parr, Grope Mountain originally launched in 2015 at the Museum of Sex in New York as part of Funland, an interactive exhibition about the pleasures and perils of an eroticised fairground. The installation is inspired by modern climbing walls and made with custom holds, orifices and appendages – many cast from volunteers’ anatomies from the original show.

The UK installation features a higher course and more routes to ascend. As climbers mount the wall, working their way towards the ultimate objective, being crowned "King or Queen of Grope Mountain", they engage physically with the holds and cerebrally with the carefully choreographed routes. This journey encourages a rethink of the participants’ own body.
 
The concept is based on how a visit to a conventional climbing wall is physically engaging and also said to be intriguingly erotic: the combination of strength, balance and mental agility exhibited by climbers is enhanced by the voyeurism of spectators watching from behind. Grope Mountain turbocharges that effect, making the erotic nature of the experience all the more manifest for climbers and spectators alike.

Collaborating with The Climbing Hangar Group, the company which manufactured the original holds for the New York show, Bompas & Parr will be bringing the erotic climbing wall back to the UK for a limited time only, exclusively for the Valentine’s Day season, beginning in the capital before heading north to Liverpool.

Harry Parr, partner of Bompas & Parr, said: "Climbing walls are perceived as a place for sport, well-being and fun, but they can be erotic too. Gripping and tugging yourselves up with our sensual holds is this year’s perfect date for those looking to show off their strength, stamina and flexibility."

Ged MacDomhnaill, managing director of The Climbing Hangar Group, added: "We’re delighted to be able to bring our erotic holds back to home turf to allow curious climbers and eroticists to engage in sport reimagined. Grope Mountain fuses sport with sensuality, the joy of physicality, the sensation of touch and the delight of the body in strong, elongated postures."

London Grope Mountain takes place from 11-12 February at The Climbing Hangar London in Parson's Green, while Grope Mountain Liverpool will be staged on 14 February at Birchall Street in the city.

Westfield London teamed up with Bompas & Parr to stage an immersive cocktail-themed adventure called 'Beyond the Waterfall' in December. Bompas & Parr also staged an exhibition last year exploring how fridges can kill as well as conserve food

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