Earlier this year, an Argentinian artist specialising in optical illusion installations created a piece in London using mirrors to reflect the façade of a Victorian townhouse onto a vertical plane. The façade was on the ground, flat and people could lie down on it, crawl along it, and make it seem like they were actually climbing the face of the building. In 2012, Leandro Erlich created another optical illusion in Nantes, France. This time, the installation appeared to be a fragment of the second storey of a building, accessible by a ladder (although this was not meant to be climbed) that lead to a window. Halfway up the ladder, assorted furniture was balanced on what appeared to be a window pane. Erlich described the intention behind the artwork as “Faithfully re-enacting domestic interiors or walkways…(in order to)… spark a moment of doubt: through the subtle play of mirrors, false bottoms or trompe l’oeil’s, spaces are deconstructed and multiplied.” Sounds complicated – so it must be very good art! The piece is called “Monte-meubles – L’ultime demenagement”, which translates as ‘The furniture lift – the ultimate moving out’ and although the ladder is an integral part of the sculpture, it is the ladder that holds the artwork up. The ladder is also the furniture lift - an electric platform - which ferries the furniture up and down from the fragment of the building. Due to the height (fourteen metres) and structural nature of the piece, engineers had to digitally model the effects of wind on the sculpture, to make sure it was safe to be in position in a busy square in Nantes. The modelling showed them that dampers were needed to negate the effects of even low wind speeds on the stability of the structure. When you look at the piece from various angles, you can really appreciate the planning and engineering that has gone into making such a surreal artwork. Just don’t be tempted to climb the ladder or balance your furniture on one!