cornelia parker constructs ominous psychobarn on the met museum’s rooftop
installation views of the roof garden commission:
cornelia parker, transitional object (psychobarn) at the metropolitan museum of art, 2016
image by alex fradkin, courtesy of the artist

 

 

 

cornelia parker: transitional object (psychobarn)
the iris and b. gerald cantor roof garden at the met, new york
april 19 — october 31, 2016

 

 

the fourth annual installation of commissioned work for the metropolitan museum of art‘s iris and b. gerald cantor roof garden has been revealed. this year’s site-specific installation follows french artist pierre huyghe’s animal and mineral landscape presented last year, and american artist dan graham’s ‘hedge two-way mirror walkabout’ in 2014. 

 

 


the roof garden commission 2016: cornelia parker
video courtesy of the met

 

 

 

for the 2016 edition, british artist cornelia parker combines two iconic aspects of american architecture — the image of a classic red barn, and the ominous bates mansion from alfred hitchcock’s 1960 film psycho — for the installation ‘transitional object (psychobarn)’.

 

‘I was very excited to find the original set from psycho was only two flats, all propped up from behind, like a stage set would be, and it was filmed from a particular angle so you only saw the house, side on,’ parker says. ‘I’ve built the house in the same angle. I’ve tipped it into the corner, and then if you go around the back, you can see it’s all propped up and you realize it’s a façade. but I wanted it to be believable from this angle. so the roof garden becomes the garden of this house. so I like the idea of the private hedge around the met roof. and then hunkering in the corner is this sinister house.’

cornelia-parker-roof-garden-commission-the-met-transitional-object-psychobarn-designboom-02
the british artist has combines two iconic aspects of american architecture
image by alex fradkin, courtesy of the artist

 

 

 

the large-scale sculpture reaches a height of nearly 30 feet, appearing to be a completely constructed house at first glance, but upon closer inspection, revealing itself as two façades propped up with scaffolding. fabricated from a deconstructed red barn taken from a farm in upstate new york, the scaled-down structure is both genuine and fictional, conjuring the psychological and emotional aspects that are associated with these two architectural typologies.

 

additionally, parker has incorporated the red siding, wood floors, whitewashed posts, and corrugated steel roofing from an old barn. the title of refers to the psychoanalytic theory of transitional objects used by children to help negotiate their identity as separate from their parents. 

cornelia-parker-roof-garden-commission-the-met-transitional-object-psychobarn-designboom-02
a classic red barn meets the ominous bates mansion from alfred hitchcock’s 1960 film psycho
image by alex fradkin, courtesy of the artist

 

 

 

‘I collaborated with a restoration company, who go around america and they take down old barns,’ parker says. ‘so the roof of this house is made from the corrugated metal from the barn roof. the siding is made obviously from the siding of the barn. so this is the barn, reconfigured. so I quite like the idea of the barn being this quite wholesome thing, this, you know, lovely thing about the landscape and the countryside, and politicians like standing in front of red barns because it typifies wholesomeness. and then the psycho house is the opposite. it’s just all the dark psychological stuff you don’t really want to look at.’

cornelia-parker-roof-garden-commission-the-met-transitional-object-psychobarn-designboom-02
the large-scale sculpture reaches a height of nearly 30 feet
image by alex fradkin, courtesy of the artist

cornelia-parker-roof-garden-commission-the-met-transitional-object-psychobarn-designboom-02
the construction appears to be a completely constructed house at first glance
image by hyla skopitz, the photograph studio, the metropolitan museum of art © 2016

cornelia-parker-roof-garden-commission-the-met-transitional-object-psychobarn-designboom-02
‘transitional object (psychobarn)’ has been fabricated from a deconstructed red barn
image by alex fradkin, courtesy of the artist

cornelia-parker-roof-garden-commission-the-met-transitional-object-psychobarn-designboom-02
parker has incorporated the red siding, wood floors, whitewashed posts, and corrugated steel roofing from an old barn
image by alex fradkin, courtesy of the artist

cornelia-parker-roof-garden-commission-the-met-transitional-object-psychobarn-designboom-02
parts of the installation retain evidence from its former life on a farm in upstate new york
image by hyla skopitz, the photograph studio, the metropolitan museum of art © 2016

cornelia-parker-roof-garden-commission-the-met-transitional-object-psychobarn-designboom-02
the sculpture moves between the physical reality of the barn and the cinematic fiction of the ‘psycho’ house
image by alex fradkin, courtesy of the artist

 

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