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Defying gravity in London

| Art, Culture, Free events | 16/07/2013

Leandro Erlich, Dalston House
Leandro Erlich, Dalston House

Have you always admired Man on a Wire without quite having the stomach for this kind of endeavour? If you are in for something a little less life threatening, the Argentinean artist Leandro Erlich has made possible for you to safely defy gravity. You have until August 4th, 2013 to levitate at Dalston House.

Born in Buenos Aires in 1973, Leandro Erlich has gained notoriety thanks to the Swimming Pool, an installation that was exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 2001. His work is often made out of architectural components at human scale. The participants are invited to experience surroundings with a twist.

Dalston House, commissioned by the Barbican, is therefore in line with Erlich’s practice.

Located on a vacant lot on Ashwin Street, a stone’s throw from Dalston Kingsland station, Erlich designed and decorated a façade to resemble the houses that previously stood on the block. It lies horizontally with mirrors positioned overhead at a 45 degrees angle. The illusion is created: visitors seem to be hanging from the roof, suspended from the windows…

The installation is a highly interactive and refreshing experience. People are queuing with all sorts of cameras in hands eager to take a souvenir home.

The illusion gives however an ephemeral sense of discomfort. For a flittering moment, there is the physical uneasiness at the idea of hanging from a rooftop. The type of home that has been chosen by the artist is also disconcerting. It is a Victorian terraced house, a typical London family home. Stepping on it in order to hang off from it forces the participants to question their relation to their surroundings.

Dalston House is therefore a humorous and seemingly lighthearted installation and an experience not to miss.

For more information, visit the Barbican’s website.

Text and images Reine Okuliar (

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