Leandro Erlich Exhibition: Ephemeral Certainties

Mirrors, plays of perspective, seemingly endless labyrinths and floating clouds: introducing two of the most representative installations of one of the Argentine visual artists with the highest international profile.

Espacio Fundación Telefónica
C/ Fuencarral, 3, Madrid

Mirrors, plays of perspective, seemingly endless labyrinths and floating clouds: introducing two of the most representative installations of one of the Argentine visual artists with the highest international profile.

Leandro Erlich (Buenos Aires, 1973), the creator of an oeuvre that uses everyday objects to generate immersive experiences that alter our perception of reality, is today one of the Argentine visual artists with the highest international profile.
By means of optical illusions, the artist configures a space that shatters our expectations and opens up infinite interpretative possibilities.
Erlich’s installations threaten our spatial certainties, causing the spectator to change their physical points of reference and leading them into a state of bewilderment and confusion, forcing them to relativize their stance between what is real and what is artificial, between logic and imagery.
This exhibition opens at a time when Latin American art is becoming increasingly important on the international scene, as evidenced by the presence of Argentina as the guest country at ARCO Madrid 2017. The exhibition can be viewed on the third floor of Espacio Fundación Telefónica between 23 February and 23 April 2017.

Erlich presents two of his most representative installations in Espacio Fundación Telefónica as part of the Ephemeral Certainties exhibition: Nest of Clouds and Changing Rooms. The two installations encompass most of the characteristics that make this artist’s output so unique, providing both conflicting and complementary experiences.
Despite the diversity of formats and approaches that are a feature of all the Argentine artist’s work, we are able to identify certain pointers, strategies and influences that define his oeuvre as a whole:
Architecture and the study of space. The fact is that Erlich’s work is closely related to the processes and forms of expression inherent in architecture. His mastery of the use of spaces and his reflections in relation to their conceptualization are a feature of most of his works.
The illusory. The artist constructs scenes and places yet at the same time visual paradoxes, a resource that has led him to be known as the “architect of uncertainty”. In all his installations there is always a trick that the visitor needs to discover.

Inhabiting the everyday. Incorporating elements of everyday use (elevators, maps, swimming pools, changing rooms, windows, etc.), objects that form part of our collective imagery, but given another meaning in his work. In this way, Erlich builds new narratives that demolish the assumptions with which we interpret reality.
Simplicity, accessibility and fun. Most of his works are images, spaces and ambiences open to the possibility of infinite interpretations. Accessibility and simplicity are fundamental when it comes to approaching his work.
The influence of the cinema. His main points of reference come from this discipline. He has never hidden his fascination with Hitchcock, Polanski and Lynch. From them he takes the use of the everyday as a scenario from which to create a fictitious world.
References to literature. Erlich’s work cannot be fully appreciated without alluding to the Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges. From him he has adopted the form in which a multitude of scenarios coexist and the insinuation that there is another reality beyond the one we know.
Contemplation versus experience. In Changing Rooms, the viewer enters a labyrinth and interacts with the space and the other visitors. In Nest of Clouds the author invites us to peaceful contemplation and consideration of the systems of representation.

Changing Rooms
This work consists of 30 cabins and two corridors which allow visitors to move between three blocks of changing rooms.
The idea is for visitors to immerse themselves in a kind of magical labyrinth in which false mirrors throw back an image of other viewers where you might expect to see yourself reflected. This interactive experience disorientates visitors in the search for their own reflection. Although very different in form, this installation plays with similar concepts to Nest of Clouds in that it invites viewers to question the functionality of a mirror and provokes a disassociation between what the mind expects and what the eye actually sees.

Nest of Clouds
This subtly beautiful installation suggests a bank of clouds that seem to float in the air, evoking the shapes of different countries. Playing with the fleeting nature typical of cloud formations and the recognition of specific territories within them, Erlich questions the concept of borders and their permanence.
In the Ephemeral Certainties exhibition, we invite visitors to let themselves be enveloped in a completely new and symbolic world created by Leandro Erlich. A world in which maps and mirrors are transformed into the vehicle that confronts us with nature and our perceptions of human existence.

Leandro Erlich (Buenos Aires, 1973) lives and works between Buenos Aires and Montevideo, and his work can be categorised in the sphere of conceptual art, combining architecture and technology to create a unique universe with which to interpret the reality that surrounds us.
Some of his works have been exhibited at the PS1 MoMA in New York, in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan, and in the Reina Sofía Museum.
He was part of the Nuit Blanche event in Paris in 2004 and 2015; he represented Argentina at the Venice Biennale in 2001, and was part of the Biennale exhibition in 2005. He has also shown at the Echigo-Tsumari art Triennale in Japan in 2006 and in the Notre Histoire exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris in 2006.
Apart from his inclusion in numerous group exhibitions, he has also held a considerable number of solo exhibitions in galleries in cities such as London, Madrid, Paris and New York, and in museums such as El Museo del Barrio in New York in 2001; the Santa Monica Art Centre in Barcelona in 2003; the Centre of Contemporary Art of Saint-Nazaire in 2005; the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach in 2010; the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Seoul in 2014; and the ZKM, Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie in Karlsruhe in 2015.

Workshop programme and parallel activities
The exhibition Ephemeral Certainties is supported by a programme of workshops organised by our educational team. There are workshops suitable for all ages and registration is free. Check the details of each activity here.