Barbican brings Leandro Erlich’s Dalston House to heart of Hackney

Bâtiment, Leandro Erlich

Bâtiment by Leandro Erlich. Photograph: Leandro Erlich

Walk into Dalston House, and immerse yourself in a period drama with 21st century special effects. Not any house in Dalston, but Argentine artist Leandro Erlich’s recreation of a late-Victorian façade, due to emerge at 1-7 Ashwin Street later this month.

The idea is to create a film-set-style installation with the life-sized exterior of a terraced house lying on the ground, and a mirror positioned at a 45-degree angle above.

Visitors will be able to stand, lie, crouch or crawl on the meticulously-crafted surface, and look like they are scaling the building or falling off it.

Leandro Erlich is internationally known for captivating, three-dimensional visual illusions.

His work is inspired by the surreal and sinister aesthetic strategies of Alfred Hitchcock, David Lynch, Luis Buñuel and Roman Polanski whom, he says, “have used the everyday as a stage for creating a fictional world obtained through the psychological subversion of everyday spaces”.

His previous projects involving interactive spaces include a swimming pool, a lift shaft and a revolving flat, all inviting viewers to stretch their notions of spatial reality.

Jane Alison, Senior Curator of the Barbican Art Gallery, said: “We are thrilled to be able to present Leandro Erlich’s work in the heart of Hackney. Dalston House is a theatrical spectacle, one where the audience makes the show. It is a delightful experience suitable for all ages.”

The exhibition, part of the Beyond Barbican series, follows on from the 2009 Dalston Mill wheat-growing and bread-making project in what subsequently became the Eastern Curve Garden.

Erlich’s work is to be accompanied by a series of special events including film screenings, performances, tours and workshops all exploring themes related to the installation.

For art fiends harbouring repressed super-heroes, Dalston House is sure to be the perfect antidote to a damp Hackney summer. And it is bound to delight the rest of us as well.

Leandro Erlich: Dalston House
26 June – 4 August
1–7 Ashwin Street, Dalston, E8 3DL
@barbicancentre #dalstonhouse
0845 120 7550