I generally have a hard time giving a lot of credit to op art. It appeals to the part of my brain that will always be 12 years old, and it often just looks too cool for me to take too seriously. In other words, Dude!
But here we have Demon Hill, an installation by Julian Hoeber at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Hoeber’s freestanding structure recreates the gravitational mystery spots found among roadside attractions, messing with the viewer’s sense of balance and even creeping her out a little in the process.
Hoeber has laid bare the illusion. We walk up to the structure knowing the entire thing has been built on an angle, and the minimal interior harks to the work of Donald Judd and Dan Flavin (or to the work of your local contractor, if you’re feeling unpretentious), but we still can’t help but feel tricked by the illusion. Everything is crooked, and there’s nothing we can do about it.
Dude! It’s pretty cool.
What’s this got to do with Texas, you ask? The title is a pun on the surname of a prominent Houston family with a love for the surreal.