Last week I was walking from the bus stop to the designers Chris & Tibor’s studio in Dalston, when I took a short cut. As I marched on through I noticed something going on to my left, as crowds of people milled about on the pavement. So imagine my glee when I realised I had inadvertently arrived at Argentine artist Leandro Erlich’s Dalston House, a three-dimensional visual illusion installation that has been commissioned by the Barbican, and is running until the 04 August.
Sited on a vacant lot on Ashwin Street, Erlich has designed and decorated the façade to resemble the houses that previously stood on the block. So what you see on first notice is the detailed facade of a Victorian terraced house.
When you take a second look you realise that that facade lies horizontally on the ground with mirrors positioned overhead. The reflections of visitors give the impression they are standing on, suspended from, or scaling the building vertically.
I could have stayed for ages, watching everyone. One girl and her boyfriend had bought props, and everyone was busy camera-phoning themselves, as they found new and bizarre ways to appear as if they were crawling up the sides of the building.
I was there around 3pm and there was already quite a line – and the schools hadn’t broken up then, so if you want to participate, I suggest getting there very early during the week.
26 June 2013 – 4 August 2013
1-7 Ashwin Street, Dalston, E8 3DL
Tickets: Free. Opening times: Mon–Wed: 11am– 6pm, Thu & Fri:11am–8pm, Sat & Sun: 10am–8pm
The Barbican recommend joining the queue at least one hour before closing time, although you may have to arrive earlier during busier periods. Follow @dalstonhouse for real time updates.