Alex Da Corte’s Haunted Dollhouse Is Coming to Luxembourg & Dayan

Film still from Die Hexe Courtesy Luxembourg & Dayan

It’s nowhere near Halloween, but something creepy is on its way to New York nonetheless. On February 26, Alex Da Corte‘s Die Hexe will open at Luxembourg & Dayan, and we have a feeling it won’t be for the faint of heart. Da Corte’s site-specific installation will turn the gallery’s Upper East Side townhouse into a cross between a living dollhouse and a haunted house.

The artist’s largest installation to date, Die Hexe (which means “The Witch” in German) will immediately confront visitors with a series of vignettes that unfold sequentially like scenes in a movie. As viewers move throughout the house, these “sets” will correspond with the familiar themes and functions of domestic rooms, like a massive, living dollhouse. Throughout the installation, certain scenes, senses, and experiences will be visited and revisited like ghosts.

In each room, a work by another artist (including Robert Gober, Mike Kelley, Bjarne Melgaard, and Haim Steinbach) who functions either as a foil or a father figure to Da Corte will appear, jarringly out of context with the rest of the installation.

Da Corte was inspired by the building, which is Manhattan’s second narrowest townhouse (depending on how claustrophobic you are, this might add to the creep-factor). After learning that former tenants were members of the band The Mamas and the Papas, and that the musicians sequestered themselves in the house for weeks while recording an album, Da Corte became interested in the notion of ancestors—both his “conceptual forefathers” referenced above, and also his own biological grandfathers, both of whom were grocers.

“Drawing the visitor through scenes that suggest an array of psychological states from fear and anger, to amusement and lust, to morbid contemplation, Die Hexe traces a cycle of emotions, while broaching questions of memory and biography, consumerism, American culture, folklore and the history of art,” explains a press release.

All in all, it sounds like a fascinating trip down the rabbit hole. But maybe bring a friend so you have a hand to hold.

Alex Da Corte Die Hexe will be on display at Luxembourg & Dayan on East 77th Street from February 26–April 11, 2015.


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