Internationally known for captivating, three-dimensional visual illusions, Argentine artist Leandro Erlich has been commissioned by the Barbican Art Gallery to create Dalston House, an installation in Hackney.
The work resembles a movie set, featuring the façade of a late nineteenth-century Victorian terraced house. The life-size façade lies on the ground with a mirrored surface positioned overhead at a 45-degree angle. By sitting, standing or lying on the horizontal surface, visitors appear to be scaling or hanging off the side of the building. Sited at 1–7 Ashwin Street, near Dalston Junction, Erlich has designed and decorated the façade – complete with a door, windows, mouldings and other architectural details – to evoke the houses that previously stood on the block.
For Erlich, the audience plays an active role in bringing his installations to life. By altering the viewer’s relationship with familiar spaces, he playfully disrupts our own notion of reality, creating new possibilities and situations. Dalston House is a theatrical spectacle where the audience makes the show.Dalston House opened on 26 June 2013 and is also part of the 2013 London Festival of Architecture.
Erlich was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1973, to a family of architects. Leandro was invited to represent his country in the 49th Venice Biennale (2001) and has also participated in the Biennials of Istanbul (2001), Shanghai (2002), São Paulo (2004) and Liverpool (2008). He has also participated in the Whitney Biennial (2000) and the 1st Busan Biennale, Korea (2002). He was part of La Nuit Blanche de Paris (2004), the 51st Venice Biennale (2005), the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennial, Japan (2006), and the exhibition Notre histoire at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, in 2006, among others. His forthcoming projects include Anti-Gravity at the Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, in Aicha, Japan.