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My friend Eric and I strolled over to Chelsea on Saturday between tornado warnings. We stopped by numerous recently-opened exhibits, but the most memorable show perhaps, at least for me, was Julian Hoeber at Harris Lieberman Gallery. Actually, more specifically, it was the centerpiece of the exhibit, DH#2, that was most memorable. This tilted wooden box held together with metal studs, beckons to you through its door. Inside is a steeply inclined room that is amazingly difficult to stand in and makes your head (and stomach) do somersaults…even just looking at these photos again is bringing back that queasy feeling. But it’s definitely fun and incredibly surprising. Makes for some laughs (and a little nausea.) DH#2 is, apparently, a variation on the Los Angeles artist’s previous work Demon Hill (the latter pictured in the top and bottom photos.)
These free-standing structures are based on the architecture of “gravitational mystery spots” that are often found in fun houses. Mystery spots claim to be sites of supernatural power to explain the severe effect of disorientation and vertigo that the visitor experiences, when in reality it’s the result of an architectural trick. Hoeber’s installations reveal the device behind the trickery, while retaining the same effect.
Here’s a video of the original Demon Hill:
Julian Hoeber’s exhibit will be up at Harris Lieberman Gallery through October 6th, 2012.