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Carsten Höller

(b. 1961)


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(1961– )

German artist, born in Brussels, who has lived in Stockholm since 2000. He was trained as a scientist and this is reflected in work that tends to encourage mental states which lead to the confusion of ordinary expectations. Sometimes this is achieved in a physical sense, as with his best-known works, the series of slides such as Test Site installed at Tate Modern in 2006. The installation invited visitors to lose control and submit to what the French writer Roger Caillois (1913–78) called ‘a voluptuous panic upon an otherwise lucid mind’. Höller has also made a Frisbee House (2000), which again invites participation. Yet the artist insists that physical engagement is only one way to understand the work and it is perfectly valid simply to watch without physical participation. Sometimes the effects are more purely perceptual. He has produced spectacles which induce an upside-down vision of the world. The Upside-Down Mushroom Room (2000) is an installation in which revolving models of mushrooms grow from the ceiling. For an exhibition in Stockholm in 2003 entitled ‘One Day One Day’ two separate openings were announced for two alternating exhibitions in the same space. Höller's idea was that the experience would depend upon the day on which the visitor arrived.

http://www.tate.org.uk/modern/exhibitions/carstenholler/interview.shtm Interview with Höller, Tate website.

Subjects: Art.


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