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Disorganize, Sudden and Joyful Visual Illusions of the Argentine Artist Leandro Erlich

Leandro Erlich was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1973. An architect of the uncertain, Erlich creates spaces with fluid and unstable boundaries. Before one tries to make sense of his sculptures and installations, one senses the uncanny. A single change (up is down, inside is out) can be enough to upset the seemingly normal situation, collapsing and exposing our reality as counterfeit. Through this transgression of limits, the artist undermines certain absolutes and the institutions that reinforce them.

Pool which is actually empty

Artist Leandro Erlich - Visual Illusions

Erlich has constructed a full-size pool, complete with all its trappings, including a deck and a ladder. When approached from the first floor, visitors are confronted with a surreal scene: people, fully clothed, can be seen standing, walking, and breathing beneath the surface of the water. It is only when visitors enter the gallery from the basement that they recognize that the pool is empty, its construction a visual trick fashioned by the artist. A large, continuous piece of acrylic spans the pool and suspends water above it, creating the illusion of a standard swimming pool that is both disorienting and humorous.


Artist Leandro Erlich - Visual Illusions

Artist Leandro Erlich - Visual Illusions

Mirror House

Artist Leandro Erlich - Visual Illusions

The piece is clever in its simplicity: a massive building facade is constructed on the floor near a towering mirror giving anyone reflected the uncanny appearance of being weightless.


Artist Leandro Erlich - Visual Illusions

Artist Leandro Erlich - Visual Illusions

Barbershop

Artist Leandro Erlich - Visual Illusions

Leandro ErlichArtist Leandro Erlich - Visual Illusionss twin barbershop rooms, one the exact reflection of the other. Trick the eye into thinking that one of them is merely a reflection on a mirror.


Artist Leandro Erlich - Visual Illusions

Tower

Artist Leandro Erlich - Visual Illusions

In his first individual exhibition in Spain, Erlich presents one of his most ambitious projects - La Torre (The Tower). La Torre is a tall building decorated like a block of flats, complete with windows and corridors, and consists of a mirror device that creates a play on perspectives, in which the observer sees himself and is seen depending on his location. Visitors on the lower level can see what is happening on the upper level, and vice versa. In addition, the people inside the installation appear to float when seen by those who are looking through the windows from the outside. The public's participation in La Torre is essential to completing the allegorical significance proposed by Erlich.


Artist Leandro Erlich - Visual Illusions

Neighbors

Artist Leandro Erlich - Visual Illusions

This time the scene is a drab, narrow apartment building hallway. There are closed doors fitted with peepholes. A fire extinguisher hangs on the wall. An elevator opens at the push of a button but leaves you peering vertiginously downward into what appears to be an empty shaft many floors deep. From outside the boxy, stagelike structure, you can look through one of the peepholes as if you were inside the apartment. What you are, in fact, surveying is a tiny replica of the hallway, not the 'real' thing.


Artist Leandro Erlich - Visual Illusions

The Haunted Room

Artist Leandro Erlich - Visual Illusions

Elevator

Artist Leandro Erlich - Visual Illusions

Art project in the form of a lift the inner walls and the interior parts such as buttons and mirrors of which are outside.


Artist Leandro Erlich - Visual Illusions

Door

Cake-sofa

Stairway

Artist Leandro Erlich - Visual Illusions

Window

Artist Leandro Erlich - Visual Illusions

Smoking Room

Artist Leandro Erlich - Visual Illusions

Smoking Room, which is constantly tightened in the cigarette smoke.

Lost Garden

Artist Leandro Erlich - Visual Illusions

Artist Leandro Erlich - Visual Illusions

It is a triangular, enclosed construction which contains a garden. Even though we are aware of the limited dimensions of the architectural structure, when we look inside, the garden is infinite in size. The artist has written about the piece: “My work, Lost Garden, aspires to create depth within the banal experience of everyday spaces. With the help of mirrors, the work creates the illusion of an interior garden. Outside the truth is revealed and the triangular prism assures us that the garden is impossible. The plastic artificial plants are visually multiplied in the reflections, and through the windows one can peek through to find a garden that doesnArtist Leandro Erlich - Visual Illusionst actually exist.' Conceptually Lost Garden is, according to the artist, “a poetic image of life, of time and of nature ... an idyllic place like paradise ... it represents a permanent state of longing and irreparable nostalgia.'


Clock

Artist Leandro Erlich - Visual Illusions