where the ordinary meets the extraordinary
01.07.23 → 11.01.24
On the occasion of his major exhibition in Palazzo Reale in Milan on view until October 4 and his intervention in the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey visible through the summer, our new Cinema Room episode is dedicated to a world-renowned Argentine conceptual artist Leandro Erlich. His stunning installations transform the ordinary things – a house, a swimming pool, an elevator… – into truly extraordinary manifestations, reversing our perception of the inner and outer reality. They create a strong visual paradox, challenge our worldview and bring the magic back into the everyday life, sparking a sense of curiosity and wonder. In this episode, we invite you to virtually project yourself inside his stunning installation The Building, presented in the Liberty Science Center in New York. As a bonus video, we would like to share with you an interview with the artist, taking us back to his spectacular show in CAFA Museum in Beijing in 2019.
This film presents a 30-minute experience of Leandro Erlich’s brilliant installation The Building, bringing his acclaimed Bâtiment series to the New York area for the first time (after its previous incarnations in Paris, London, Bueons Aires, the Echigo-Tsumari region of Japan, etc.). A model of a building is constructed on the ground : the visitors are invited to activate the installation and pretend to “climb” on the façade, navigating between the windows and even “hanging” of the balconies. A giant mirror, standing over the model at an angle and thus reflecting everything that is happening on it, creates a wonderful illusion that the visitors are indeed walking on the impossible, perpendicular surface, thus defying the laws of gravity.
Each reinterpretation of the Bâtiment series is intimately linked to the context in which it is installed, integrating the architectural vocabulary proper to its surroundings. Likewise, in the film we witness a New York City brick storefront – complete with a deli and fire-escapes – a typical building of the area, strengthening the viewer’s experience of immersion.
The Confines of the Great Void
In 2019, Leandro Erlich has been invited to present his 20 large-scale interactive installations created over the last 25 years at CAFA Art Museum in Beijing, China. The exhibition, entitled as “Leandro Erlich: The Confines of the Great Void”, was one of the largest of the artist’s career. In this interview, the artist’s explains talks about his vision of reality as a construct which he constantly seeks to challenge, about art as participative field of playful experience and interactivity.
Speaking generally, my work functions as a narrative experience deployed in the public arena. I build visual stories from daily life that evoke an ordinary circumstances, both rooted in reality and shared experience, but that don’t function as expected. I like to develop projects that push the conceptual threshold of the audience…
– Leandro Erlich
About the artist
Born 1973 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Leandro Erlich lives and works in Buenos Aires and Montevideo.
In his work, Leandro Erlich borrows situations of everyday life by extruding objects from their original context. Through the use of trompe l’oeil, mirrors and double bottoms, he reverses the vision of the world by playing with reality.
Leandro Erlich participated at the Whitney Biennale in 2000 and represented Argentina at the 49th Venice Biennale (2001) with his installation Swimming Pool, which earned him international recognition. Today, this work is part of the permanent collection of the Kanazawa Museum in Japan (along with Infinite Staicase) and of the Voorlinden Museum in Netherlands.
His monumental piece Bâtiment, first created for the Parisian Nuit Blanche in 2004, is currently presented at 104 in Paris for the Foire Foraine d’Art Contemporain, has toured the world from France to Japan, passing through Australia, Argentina and Ukraine.
He received the UNESCO Award (Istanbul, 2001), El Premio Leonardo (Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, 2000), el Fondo Nacional de las Artes (Buenos Aires, 1992). In 2006, he was nominated for the Marcel Duchamp Prize. In 2017, he received The Roy Neuberger Award.
Leandro Erlich’s work is present in different public collections such as the Centre Georges Pompidou (France), the Museum of Fine Arts of Houston (USA), the Tate Modern (London, UK), the Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Roma (Italy) or the Museum Voorliden of Wasenaar (Netherlands).