The haunted palace

Diana Larrea


The work presented is one of a new series in which the artist have made use of different film myths, recreating them literally, in a deliberate attempt to reproduce them exactly and faithfully.

In this case, she proposes to appropriate a mythical image from Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds and reconstruct it as a tangible reality. In order to do this, Diana Larrea will invade the two main façades of the Casa de América with a horde of black crows made of synthetic material. They will perch on the cornices, window-ledges, balconies etc. of the building in such a way that they will cover practically everything like an enormous swarm of bees. As in the film, the threatening presence of the birds in everyday surroundings will alter our customary perception of everyday reality.

The basis of this work is found at the point when the spectator, on seeing this image omnipresent in our collective memory, immediately identifies and recognizes it, recalling the original model in the film. The artist is very interested in reflecting on the concept of the myth as a cultural image that participates in the integration of individuals. Contrary to what is usually claimed, the more a myth is used the more it perpetuates its essential meaning, affirming its own power in the world of collective illusions. The power of the myth lies in the fact that it gives us a much more intense awareness of reality than reality itself.

The symbolism of this image can be found in the universal myth of divine punishment. Like the episode narrated in the Old Testament of the plagues in Egypt, the occupation by the threatening birds is something we do not expect and cannot explain. When D. Larrea use this artistic replica to repeat a similar event in our current world, she is refering to those dreaded prophecies that are inexorably fulfilled. That an image from the fantasy world of our nightmares can suddenly take on concrete form confers on the work a certain sinister quality that is very disturbing.



Casa de América façade, Plaza de Cibeles.

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