Le Bon Marché, one of the city’s most renowned department stores, commissioned the artist to create an installment of his pick.
Titled Under the Sky, Erlich opted to transform the store’s interior into a fantastical world above the clouds — as a tribute to Paris‘ skies.
“For me, each city has a strong relationship with its skies. It affects its inhabitants, its dynamism, and its overall atmosphere,” said the artist.
“The skies of a town changes the perception of it: a daytime nostalgic and conducive to reflection, it may be happier the next day,” he continued.
The installation centers around the department store’s main escalators, initially designed by interior designer Andrée Putman.
Using the black and white gridded facade of this escalators as a beginning point, Erlich attached further constructions to the existing escalators to create an optical illusion which makes them seem like they have been tied into a giant knot.
Projections of cloud formations are displayed on a massive screen underneath the shop‘s glass ceiling, even while cloud-like shapes fill the store windows. The light in the store has also been programmed to change based on the time of day and season.
“What motivated me since the beginning of this project are the strongest architectural components of the Bon Marché Rive Gauche — namely, the first escalator along with the windows. These are symbolic elements of this place,” he said.
“For me, Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche is a space that disturbs me as a universe in its right. I believe there’s a kind of fantasy and ghost supporting,” he continued. “This space is anchored in town, but the enchantment it gives us transports us elsewhere. It is an area that offers things that are sometimes sudden but at the same time a part of everyday life for many city dwellers.”
Founded in 1852, Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche is primarily regarded as the first department store on earth.
Erlich’s installment will remain on show at the department store until 18 February 2018.