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There’s something wonderfully unsettling about one building sitting on top of another. Forget the rules, it seems to suggest. We’re going rogue.
The latest version of this genre-bending phenomenon is the Metropolitan Museum’s new rooftop installation, called Transitional Object (PsychoBarn), which, as its name suggests, is a 2/3-scale mockup of the Bates Motel, the hilltop mansion from Alfred Hitchcock’s movie Psycho.
Nearly 30 feet high, the shabby, blood-red structure, looming over the roof garden’s western edge, was fabricated from the pieces of a former barn in Schoharie, New York, in the northern Catskills. It looks like the genuine article at first; but in fact it’s two facades supported from behind by scaffolding, held in place by large, water-filled ballasts.
The artist, Cornelia Parker, has long specialized in installations that explore clichés and, through tromp l’oueil and other techniques, create eerie calm out of craziness or, on the flip side, excitement out of the ordinary. Her first major work, Cold Dark Matter: An Extended View, involved blowing up her garden shed and recreating its fragments at the Tate Modern in floating suspension. […]