[June 11 2015]
Over the past 20 years Carsten Höller has created devices, installations and situations intented to transport people between different physical and psychological states. The artist has described himself as an orthopaedist who creates “artificial limbs for parts of your body that you don’t even know you’ve lost”. He makes work that attempts to destabilise his audience and liberate them from what he calls the “dictatorship of the predictable”.
Beginning with a choice of entrances, this exhibition presents visitiors with objects and scenarios that ask them to reflect on the process of decision-making. Believing in the importance of doubt and uncertainty, as well as the pleasures of indecision, Höller intends for his work to bring about “moments of not knowing”.
The diverse works in this exhibition are tools or propositions to be used in multiple ways. Although many of the works invite interaction – from the slides that erupt from the gallery roof, to the goggles that turn your vision upside-down – they also encourage reflection. As Höller states, “its possible to experience the work through other people, to see it from outside, or to just contemplate it”. On entering Carsten Höller : “Decision” visitors become part of the exhibition, their varied actions and reactions as vital to the artist, and to other visitors, as the works themselves.
Text Hayward Gallery and photo Olivier Zahm