Leandro Erlich: Port of Reflections at Neuberger Museum
Leandro Erlich, Argentine conceptua artist, is recipient of the 2017 Roy R. Neuberger Exhibition Prize. His installation Port of Reflections will be on view for the first time in the United States at the Neuberger Museum of Art, in Purchase, New York, from February 5 – July 30, 2017.
Leandro Erlich, Argentine conceptua artist, is recipient of the 2017 Roy R. Neuberger Exhibition Prize. His installation Port of Reflections will be on view for the first time in the United States at the Neuberger Museum of Art, in Purchase, New York, from February 5 – July 30, 2017. Port of Reflections is the artist’s most ambitious museum installation to date.
Filling the museum’s expansive Theater Gallery, Erlich’s nighttime “harbor” with its boardwalk, rails, and dark “water,” includes several colorful rowboats that appear to float and gently rock as their reflections “shimmer” in the dark waters beneath. But all is not what it seems, as visitors discover. In Port of Reflections, there is no water beneath the rowboats and there are no reflections. The railings and boats are but cleverly constructed elements that create the deception. The boats are suspended in midair, and motors create the rocking motion. “Each element of the work has been fabricated as the artist challenges our notions of reality,” notes Helaine Posner, co-curator with Dr. Patrice Giasson. Indeed, Erlich is a master of illusion. Port of Reflections crystalizes most of the elements that define the artist’s works: displacement and challenging perceptions about how and where things are supposed to be.
Erlich is well known for turning the ordinary – an elevator, a swimming pool, a staircase, a harbor – into a nonfunctional work that takes the viewer into an unreal world. He once explained: “Revealing the trick is crucial; it transforms the deception into something positive [and] allows the spectator to think and discover.” Says Giasson: “Erlich asks us to consider the everyday and to question it. He brings the boats out of their expected context, subtracting the source of their existence.”
Port of Reflections was modified from an earlier version created for the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, Korea in 2014 and later presented as Puerto de Memorias (Port of Memories) at MUNTREF, Museo de la Universidad Nacional de Tres Febrero in Buenos Aires.
Leandro Erlich: Port of Reflections is organized by the Neuberger Museum of Art and co-curated by Patrice Giasson, Alex Gordon Associate Curator of Art of the Americas and Helaine Posner, Chief Curator. The exhibition is accompanied by a beautiful, fully-illustrated, scholarly exhibition catalogue documenting the artist’s innovative work.
Neuberger Museum of Art
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