Carsten Höller applies his training as a scientist to his work as an artist, concentrating particularly on the nature of human relationships. Major installations include Flying Machine (1996), an interactive work in which viewers are strapped into a harness and hoisted through the air; Test Site (2006), a series of giant slides installed in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall; Amusement Park (2006), a large installation at MASS MoCA of full-sized carnival midway rides operating at dramatically slowed speeds; The Double Club (2008–09), a work designed to create a dialogue between Congolese and Western culture in the form of a London bar, restaurant, and nightclub; and Upside-Down Goggles (2009–11), an ongoing participatory experiment with vision distortion through goggles. Höller’s Revolving Hotel Room, an installation that became a fully operational hotel room by night, was featured in the exhibition theanyspacewhatever at the Guggenheim Museum, New York (2008–09).
Höller was born in 1961 in Brussels to German parents. Major exhibitions and solo presentations include the 50th Biennale di Venezia, Venice (2003); One Day One Day, Färgfabriken, Stockholm (2003); 7th Biennale de Lyon, France (2003); Half Fiction, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2003); 7,8 Hz, Le Consortium, Dijon, France (2004); Une exposition à Marseille, Musée d’Art Contemporain, Marseille (2004); 51st Biennale di Venezia, Venice (2005); Test Site, Tate Modern, London (2006); Amusement Park, MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts (2006); Carrousel, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2008); The Double Club, Fondazione Prada, London (2008); 28th Bienal de São Paulo (2008); Double Slide, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb (2009); 53rd Biennale di Venezia, Venice (2009); 8th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2010); Divided Divided, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands (2010); Soma, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2010); Double Carousel with Zöllner Stripes, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Rome (2011); Experience, New Museum, New York (2011); 11th Sharjah Biennial, United Arab Emirates (2013); LEBEN, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna (2014); 8th Berlin Biennale (2014); 10th Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2014); Golden Mirror Carousel, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2014–15); 56th Biennale di Venezia, Venice (2015); Decision, Hayward Gallery, London (2015); Doubt, Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan, Italy (2016); Video Retrospective with Two Light Machines, Mu.ZEE, Ostend, Belgium (2016); and Y, Centro Botín, Santander, Spain (2017). The Slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit (2016), Höller’s commissioned addition to Anish Kapoor’s ArcelorMittal Orbit (2012), is permanently installed at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London.
Höller lives and works in Stockholm and Biriwa, Ghana.
Extended through September 1, 2017
June 20–September 1, 2017
555 West 24th Street, New York
June 9–August 12, 2016
Reindeers & Spheres
January 10–February 13, 2009
Carsten Höller & Karsten Höller
August 21–September 21, 2007
Davies Street, London
September 1–October 8, 2005
Britannia Street, London
Monday, December 30, 2019
Palm Beach, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
Realized together with the Swedish film director Måns Månsson, Carsten Höller’s film Fara Fara (2014) documents the music scene in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. In Congolese tradition, the fara fara, which means “face-to-face” in Lingala, is a musical competition in which two musicians perform concurrently on different stages, playing for as long as they possibly can. The musician who is able to engage their audience the longest wins. The film examines the individual psychology of the people who spearhead Kinshasa’s music scene, offering insightful observations on the context, history, and political impact of this specific subculture.
Carsten Höller, Fara Fara, 2014 (still) © Carsten Höller
The Extreme Present
Opening reception: Tuesday, December 3, 5–8pm
December 4–8, 2019
Moore Building, Miami
Gagosian is pleased to announce The Extreme Present, the fifth in a series of annual exhibitions at the Moore Building in the Miami Design District during Art Basel Miami Beach, presented by Gagosian and Jeffrey Deitch. The Extreme Present will explore artists’ reactions to the conditions of our accelerating and increasingly complex world. The title is inspired by The Age of Earthquakes: A Guide to the Extreme Present, a book by Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, published in 2015. Their provocative thesis addresses the rapidly evolving digital era, half a century after Marshall McLuhan’s groundbreaking study on technology’s influence on culture, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, in which he coined the phrase “the medium is the message.” Works in this exhibition explore concepts of media, communication, togetherness, and isolation.
The Extreme Present
Opened May 31, 2018
Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn, Germany
Carsten Höller has developed a site-specific slide connecting the roof of the Bundeskunsthalle to the museum’s grounds. Bonner slide (2018) aims to create a symbiotic relationship with the museum’s architecture. The slide has been inaugurated as part of the exhibition The Playground Project—Outdoor, but will remain in place for several years to be enjoyed during the outdoor season.
Artwork © Carsten Höller. Photo: Laurin Schmid
Through April 13, 2020
In this exhibition Carsten Höller examines the theme of reproduction, adopting an approach that is at once scientific and artistic. The museum is transformed into a large, biology-based playscape where, for example, the visitors are encouraged to crawl through the pips of a die, and where slow-moving merry-go-rounds and corridors of mirrors affect their sensory perceptions.
Carsten Höller, Gartenkinder, 2014 © Carsten Höller. Photo: Mike Bruce
Opened April 20, 2018
Fondazione Prada, Milan
The group of exhibited artworks, realized between 1960 and 2016, represents a possible mapping of the ideas and visions that have guided the creation of the collection and the collaborations with the artists that have contributed to the activities of the foundation throughout the years. Work by Walter De Maria, Michael Heizer, Damien Hirst, Carsten Höller, and Jeff Koons is included.
Carsten Höller, Upside-Down Mushroom Room, 2000 © Carsten Höller. Photo by Attilio Maranzano, courtesy Fondazione Prada
September 26, 2019–February 23, 2020
Kunsten Museum of Modern Art Aalborg, Denmark
Carsten Höller’s work aims to involve its viewers both physically and mentally, often arriving at an intersection between play, science, and art. In Behaviour, visitors experience contact with artwork that enables disruption or transformation of the way they view their surroundings via light, sound, smell, mirror images, and other means.
Carsten Höller, Upside-Down Goggles, 1994– © Carsten Höller. Photo: Elzbieta Bialkowska
Carsten Höller in
May 10–November 24, 2019
Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice
Expanded features three newly commissioned works in stone by Marina Abramović, Carsten Höller, and Julião Sarmento. Höller presents a large-scale die made of Portuguese limestone based on his 2014 sculpture Dice (White Body, Black Dots). The exhibition is part of Primeira Pedra (First Stone), an experimental international research program that explores the potential of Portuguese stone. The project is managed by experimentadesign and cofunded by the EU.
Carsten Höller, Dice (Limestone), 2019 (in progress) © Carsten Höller. Photo: Ricardo Gonçalves