File this under strange but amazing. The house from ‘Psycho’ has become the subject of many stories over the years. It has become an iconic image.
Esquire reports that In 1998, Gus Van Sant made a shot-for-shot remake (plus a few nauseating bonus features—we all needed to watch Norman Bates masturbating, right?) of the Hitchcock classic Psycho that no one asked for. But apparently, someone did ask for a shot-for-shot remake of the Psycho house. That someone is the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and artist Cornelia Parker delivered.
Using only scraps from a 1920s-era barn from upstate New York, Parker (and a whole crew of professional set builders) remade the Bates mansion at two-thirds scale. That’s pretty damn impressive. What’s more impressive is that she named it The Roof Garden Commission: Cornelia Parker, Transitional Object (PsychoBarn).
Ah. Yes. Quite. She then delved into some back alley psychology, explaining that the “transitional object” of the title is “the thing that weans you off the mother—the teddy bear, or Linus with his blanket.” Or Norman Bates’ floppy bunny. “There was a whole mother thing going on in the Hitchcock. And then the barn is somehow a mother too—a different kind of mother.”
A mother made of animal blood and linseed-oil, which is what Parker discovered gave these old barns their distinctive red color. That’s pretty fucking metal.
I’m kind of getting the vibe that Parker is actually gleefully self-aware, and has built an entire career out of trolling the shit out of the art world. In 1991, she convinced the British Army to build up a garden shed, and then suspended the remains in space. Her other masterpieces have included squashing the horns of a traditional Brass band, “literally taking the wind out of them,” the Wall Street Journal breathlessly (two can play this game, WSJ) gasped. And drowning a bunch of miniature souvenir monuments.
You can see PsychoBarn in person at the rooftop of the Met next Tuesday, April 19.