Mystery spots are (supposed) sites of gravitational anomaly, often laying claim to being a site of supernatural power, where visitors often feel some semblance of vertigo, nausea, light-headedness, and eventually… being duped. Using off-kilter structures to throw off one’s balance in the inner ear, these roadside attractions have been tricking tourists for years.
Philadelphia born and now based in Los Angeles, Julian Hoeber has gained a name for himself for his hypnotic, art-modelings of space and perception. His art work appears like an optical illusion, but when the human body can physically interact with his work it’s no longer about what the eye can adopt, it’s what the body can perceive and take in.
In 2011, Julian made Demon Hill, his own mystery spot in the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, CA. And now, part of his first solo exhibition in New York City, a second installation, DH#2 is currently on display (until October 20, 2012) in the Harris Lieberman Gallery in Chelsea, NY. A free-standing structure, DH#2 maintains the vertigo effects, while simultaneously revealing the devices behind the long-standing hoax. Originally almost too big to fit, the current installation is reminiscent of a shipping container deposited incorrectly. With the unlevel floor, your gravity is almost thrown off upon entry. Add a protruding wall, reflected by a mirror on the opposing wall, and the grainy patterns of the plywood that covers the entire structure, and it’s easy to lose your sense of balance and reality.
Take a look at the installation below. Vertigo (hopefully) won’t be a side effect.