Shuffling fantasy and reality
There’s an unusual swimming pool that people enter with their clothes on. It’s one of the most popular attractions at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, and it’s by Leandro Erlich, who will be honored with his first official exhibition at a museum in Tokyo. This noteworthy exhibition will feature roughly 40 works he created over the course of more than 20 years, about 80% of which are being seen in Japan for the first time.
Erlich’s works are unique in that the audience gets to enter their world and become a part of them. One creates the impression you’re climbing a building wall as you lie on the floor. It’s a trick piece that uses mirrors. Another makes the viewer’s image look like a ghost in a classroom separated by glass, evoking not only nostalgia but also the lonely feeling of an empty school. In “Changing Rooms,” you should be looking at your reflection in the mirror but you can’t see it. The viewer wanders around the rooms as if in a maze. One starts to wonder, “Where am I?”
His works use human eye illusions and sound effects to make us ponder if what we see is really there. As in Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave,” we may be fooled to believe that the shadows we see are the real objects. After seeing the works and entering their world, you may leave the venue and find yourself walking a little differently than before.
(Text: Naoko Aono)
Leandro Erlich: Seeing and Believing
Dates: November 18, 2017 (Sat) – April 1, 2018 (Sun)
Venue: Mori Art Museum 53F, Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Hours: 10:00 – 22:00 (- 17:00 on Tuesdays, entrance closes 30 minutes before closing time) Open every day during exhibition period
Admission: 1,800 yen (general), other rates
Contact: 03−5777−8600 (Hello Dial)
Installation view: 104-Paris, 2011
The Psychoanalyst’s Office
Installation view: Fundación PROA, Buenos Aires, 2013
Photo: Clara Cullen