Film buffs and fans of American realism are in luck this September as London gets the rare chance to host Cornelia Parker’s phenomenal architecture installation Transitional Object (PsychoBarn). Masquerading as a building inspired by the work of both Alfred Hitchcock and Edward Hopper, this unusually intriguing sculpture pays homage to traditional American architecture and the power of illusion.
It’s a rare occurrence that a new architectural addition to London’s busy skyline will be greeted with such excitement and enthusiasm as Cornelia Parker’s Transitional Object (PsychoBarn). But this is no ordinary building. This is a sculptural installation that reveals the artifice created by filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock and artists such as Edward Hopper.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
You might also like: The Best Free Exhibitions to See in London This Week
Originally commissioned in 2016 for the Roof Garden Commission at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, PsychoBarn has been installed in the Royal Academy of Arts neoclassical Annenberg Court for a six-month presentation.
Like much of Parker’s work, this bizarre building melds fiction and reality together by appropriating found material and cultural curiosity.
At just under 30 feet high, the work has been constructed using wooden planks and corrugated roofing from a dismantled traditional American red barn. Parker has reformatted these materials to create a replica of the Bates’ house from Hitchcock’s famous film, Psycho (1960).
In turn Hitchcock took his inspiration from Edward Hopper’s House by a Railroad (1925), which Parker looked at during her research for the project, fascinated by its eerie loneliness.
Parker also deliberately reveals the work to be a fabrication by leaving the supporting scaffold of the facade openly on view. This adds another dimension of replication as it directly mimics Hitchcock’s stage set but also Hopper’s painted illusion of a real building.
The incongruity of this domestic building in an urban environment further emphasises the psychological connotations we project onto architectural spaces. Parker purposefully plays with these complexities just as Hitchcock did in his thriller and Hopper inadvertently alluded to in his painting, although the artist always retained his work was a representation of the real world.
Parker picks at these paradoxes of the rural wholesomeness represented through the use of the red barn materials and the sinister intricacies of Hitchcock’s house to confront as the artist said in a statement: “the polarities of good and evil.”
Disturbing aspects aside this is a work that needs to be seen to be believed and then you can decide whether you prefer reality or the fantasy.
Transitional Object (PsychoBarn) is in the Annenberg Courtyard, Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BD until March 2019.
Want to see more art in the capital? Here are the London events we’re most excited about.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.