The real world meets the imagination in “Transitional Object (PsychoBarn),” British artist Cornelia Parker’s installation for this summer’s Roof Garden Commission at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Parker merged her idea to recreate a rural barn in an urban setting with her fascination with the architecture of the mansion in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film “Psycho.”
“The roof is such a gift to any artist. When I saw the space for the first time, I just couldn’t believe that this would be mine,” Parker said next to her creation on the Met’s roof Monday. “The thing that’s so brilliant about the roof is the view. How can you compete with the view of New York and Central Park?”
Atop the museum’s roof, overlooking Central Park and in contrast to the New York skyline, Cornelia Parker’s transitional object looks dreamlike.
Parker’s 30-foot tall recreation was also inspired by the familiar red barn as well as Edward Hopper’s painting “House by the Railroad.”
Parker is known for combining her fascination with materials and popular culture and by altering familiar objects to comment on the culture at large. “Transitional Object (PsychoBarn)” title alludes to the idea of children’s playthings, such as a teddy bear that helps a child develop independence, Parker said.
The piece has obvious similarities to a set piece on a movie lot, specifically to the Bates home in Hitchcock’s “Psycho.” Parker’s piece is scaled down to two-thirds the size and is propped up with scaffolding and water tanks.
Parker’s piece — with its red siding, whitewashed posts, corrugated steel roofing and windows made from milking stools — is made of materials salvaged from three separate barns in upstate New York.
The juxtaposition of the barn materials and the piece’s cinematic and art historical echoes simultaneously intrigue, puzzle and entice.
“Transitional Object (PsychoBarn)” is on view through October 31, weather permitting.