with Leandro Erlich
People Dangle from Balconies and Scale a Brick Facade in Leandro Erlich’s Disorienting Installation
You don’t need nine lives to scale the side of this vertigo-inducing structure. The latest installation in Leandro Erlich’s Bâtiment series appears to defy gravity with a disorienting facade-turned-optical illusion.
On view now at Liberty Science Center, “The Building” recreates the exterior of a typical New York City structure with metal balconies, an airconditioning unit propped in a third-story window, and a deli at street level, all of which are positioned on the floor and reflected in a gigantic mirror overhead. When viewers walk into the installation, they appear weightless and are able to effortlessly dangle from railings and stand perpendicular to the brick architecture.
Part of the center’s 30th-year anniversary Big Art program alongside Dustin Yellin’s hefty glass sculpture, the jarring work “finds its basis in questions I have about the way we perceive reality,” the Argentine artist (previously) says. “Art, the way I conceive of it, exists to pose questions about our understanding of the world; in many ways, science achieves what we know it to the same way—by asking those very same questions.”
“The Building” is on view in Jersey City through the summer. You can find more of Erlich’s Bâtiment series, which has been ongoing for more than a decade with projects in Paris, London, Buenos Aires, Donetsk, and Japan’s Echigo-Tsumari region, on his site and Instagram.
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A Traffic Jam of Sand Cars by Leandro Erlich is Blocking Miami Beach
There’s a traffic jam on Miami Beach thanks to Leandro Erlich (previously). Erlich’s installation, titled “Order of Importance,” is an effort to put conversations surrounding climate change front and center. Commissioned by the city of Miami Beach and curated by Ximena Caminos and Brandi Reddick, the installation features 66 life-sized cars and trucks erected on the beach at Lincoln Road. Made of sand, the vehicles blend in with the surrounding beach and highlight the temporary nature of their construction. They will be allowed to deteriorate until the exhibition closes on December 15.
“The climate crisis has become an objective problem that requires immediate solutions,” Erlich says. “As an artist, I am in a constant struggle to make people aware of this reality, in particular, the idea that we cannot shrink away from our responsibilities to protect the planet.”
Caminos added that the exhibit, “like an image from a contemporary Pompeii or a future relic, also alludes to our fragile position in the large universal canvas. It interacts with the climate crisis facing the world, particularly the rising sea level.”
Erlich, who resides in Buenos Aires and Montevideo, is known for combining architecture, sculpture, and theater to create surreal works that alter traditional conceptions of natural environments. “Order of Importance” is his largest installation to date. You can find more of his work on Instagram and his site.
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Leandro Erlich’s Reflective Optical Illusion House Now in London
Want to pretend you’re Spiderman but can’t afford the suit and the genetic mutation? Argentine artist Leandro Erlich was commissioned by the Barbican in London to install a version of his wildly popular optical illusion that creates the visual effect of instant weightlessness. Using a wall of giant mirrors propped against a huge horizontal print of a Victorian terraced house, visitors are free to climb and jump around as their reflections appear to move freely without the pesky effects of gravity. Titled Dalston House the piece was erected in Hackney just off Dalston Junction on a disused lot that has remained vacant since it was bombed during the Second World War.
The installation opens today and is free to all visitors and will remain up through August 4th. Erlich will also be giving a talk tomorrow starting at 7:30pm. All images courtesy the Barbican.
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