The installations of Argentinean visual artist Leandro Erlich question the perception of reality through simulations and optical effects. The artist manipulates everyday situations and spaces in order to establish a parallel reality that is linked to the sole, objective truth.
In his first individual exhibition in Spain, Erlich presents one of his most ambitious projects La Torre (The Tower). Installed in the Nouvel Courtyard and produced especially for the MNCARS
, 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 publics participation in La Torre is essential to completing the allegorical significance proposed by Erlich.
Leandro Erlich makes art which challenges our idea of reality. He is interested in what we see, the spaces we occupy and the contexts we find ourselves in everyday. He suggests that 'what we take for granted is the whole concept of reality, because we assume that reality is something that is there, and is a fact and is unchangeable . . .' Instead he feels 'that reality is something we are dealt, and the final product of what is reality, is a matter of major construction made by us.'
Erlich constructs installations or complete physical worlds which the viewer enters. He uses whatever building materials necessary including mirrors and projections to create forms of reality. His work engages almost all the senses and we are invited to participate, even interact within the spaces he creates. By doing so we become actors on an elaborate theatre stage, experiencing an environment that is in part real, in part fiction. Leandro Erlich is Argentinean and in creating these spatial and psychological illusions he seems to align himself to the strong story telling traditions of South America where nothing is quite what it seems and the viewer is forced to suspend their sense of reality.