Carsten Höller, Lichtraum (Light Room), 2008 15,030 pairs of LED lights (4,000 kelvin), arranged in a grid and spaced 10cm apart in all directions, aluminum panels on aluminum frames, wood slats, aluminum wall brackets, digital controller, electrical wiring. 74 aluminum panels with LEDS: each 200 cm high; Overall installation: Dimensions variable.

Carsten Höller, But First, are You Experienced?

Carsten Höller, The Pinocchio Effect, 1999. Installation view, Synchro System, Fondazione Prada, Milan, 2000. Photo: © Attilio Maranzano.

Carsten Höller,Umkehrbrille Upside Down Goggles, 1994/2001 Polyethylene (PE), Polypropylene (PP), Nylon, aluminium, steel, optic glass prisms, leather, rubber foam ca. 11,5 x 41 x 21 cm (variable).

Carsten Höller, Left: Test Site, 2006. Installation view, Test Site, Tate Modern, London, 2007. © Tate Photography; Right: Architectural drawing of Carsten Höller’s slide at New Museum, 2011.

Carsten Höller, Psycho Tank, 1999. Installation view, Une Exposition a Marseille, Musee d’Art Contemporain, Marseille, France, 2004. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Attilio Maranzano.

 

New Museum
235 Bowery
212-219-1222
New York
Carsten Höller: Experience
October 26, 2011-January 15, 2012

The New Museum presents the first New York survey exhibition of the work of the German artist Carsten Höller (b. 1961, Brussels, lives and works Stockholm). Over the past 20 years, Höller has created a world that is equal parts laboratory and test site, exploring such themes as childhood, safety, love, the future, and doubt. Höller left his early career as a scientist in 1993 to devote himself exclusively to art making, and his work is often reminiscent of research experiments. His pieces are designed to explore the limits of human sensorial perception and logic through carefully controlled participatory experiences.

The New Museum’s exhibition includes work produced over the past 18 years in an immersive, interactive installation choreographed in collaboration with the artist. Höller actively engages the museum architecture, with each of the three main gallery floors and lobby of the building presenting a focused selection of pieces that demonstrate different experiential dimensions of his work. Functioning as an alternative transportation system within the Museum, one of Höller’s signature slide installations runs from the fourth floor to the second, perforating ceilings and floors, to shuttle viewers through the exhibition as a giant 102-foot-long pneumatic mailing system. The exhibition features a new light installation; disorienting architectural environments; a spectacular mirrored carousel; and a sensory deprivation pool, among others. Also included is a recreation of Höller’s Experience Corridor, where viewers are invited to undertake simple but affecting tests on themselves.

The selected works emphasize the experimental quality of Höller’s work and reveal the complex universe of one of the most significant European artists to emerge in the past 20 years. Höller came to prominence alongside a group of artists in the 1990s including Maurizio Cattelan, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Pierre Huyghe, Philippe Parreno, and Rirkrit Tiravanija who worked across disciplines to re-imagine the experience and the space of art. Höller stands out among this group for the manner in which his installations drew on the history and method of scientific experimentation to destabilize the viewer’s perception of space, time, and the concept of self. In providing this first opportunity for the public here to examine the full scope of Höller’s artistic experiments, the exhibition follows in the New Museum’s long tradition of introducing the most adventurous international artists to an American audience.

Carsten Höller: Experience is curated by Massimiliano Gioni, Associate Director and Director of Exhibitions, with Gary Carrion-Murayari, Associate Curator, and Jenny Moore, Assistant Curator.

Carsten Höller’s work is first and foremost concerned with altering our basic assumptions about what we see, feel, and understand about ourselves. Over the years, the artist has employed psychotropic drugs, flashing lights, and architectural alterations to overwhelm viewers with visual stimuli and challenge accepted self-perceptions. For example, the new installation Double Light Corner (2011) uses a sequence of flashing lights to give the viewer the sensation that the space around them is flipping back and forth. Höller also has exhibited a variety of adapted amusement park rides, their speeds slowed until they move almost imperceptibly. His Mirror Carousel (2005) provides riders with a radically different physical experience than the traditional fairground merry-go-round, while at the same time reflecting and illuminating the space surrounding it. In such works, Höller invites us to reconsider the meanings of play and participation. In concert with his giant mushroom sculptures and hyperrealistic sculptures of animals, the artist creates a visionary world that hovers below the surface of what we experience every day.

Höller’s art has often taken the form of proposals for radical new ways of living. He has created sculptures and diagrams for visionary architecture and transportation alternatives, like his renowned slide installations and flying cities. These concepts may seem impossible in the present day, but suggest new models for the future. The artist’s proposals and structures invite the viewer to re-imagine the social and sensorial possibilities of domestic space. During the 1990s, Höller collaborated with artist Rosemarie Trockel to create structures shared between humans and animals such as pigs, birds, and mosquitoes, calling into question hierarchies of species and the roles of the observer and the observed. Recently, Höller has invited viewers to share the exhibition space with a variety of creatures from reindeer to canaries to mice.

At the New Museum, viewers are encouraged to test a variety of sculptural experiences. In Höller’s Psycho Tank (1999), visitors float weightlessly in a sensory deprivation pool, providing a strange out-of-body experience. In these scenarios, as in his other work, Höller treats the viewer as the subject and audience for his radical and disorienting experiments.

Catalogue Carsten Höller: Experience is accompanied by a fully illustrated 248-page catalogue that takes the form of a scientific dictionary with entries covering key themes and ideas in the artist’s practice. Co-published by Rizzoli and the New Museum, contributors include New Museum curator Massimiliano Gioni, as well as Daniel Birnbaum, Mauritzio Cattelan, Germano Celant, Lynne Cooke, Hal Foster, Tim Griffin, Jessica Morgan, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Philippe Parreno, Dorothea von Hantelmann, and others. Visit newmuseumstore.org for more information. $60 / $48 members.

Carsten Höller was born in 1961 in Brussels, Belgium, to German parents. He studied agricultural entomology at the University of Kiel where he received his doctorate in 1988. By the 1990s, he began to make artworks and eventually abandoned science as profession to pursue a career as an artist. His work was the subject of solo exhibitions at a number of international institutions including the Moderna Museet in Sweden (1999); Fondazione Prada in Milan (2000); MASS MoCA (2006); Kunsthaus Bregenz in Austria (2008), and the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin (2010). Höller lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden.

Carsten Höller, Mirror Carousel, 2005 Mirrors mounted on MDF panels, lightbulbs, stainless steels seats, stainless steel chains, steel construction, electric motor, cables Height: 470 cm, Footprint: 750 x 750 cm.

Carsten Höller, Triple Giant Mushrooms (installation view), photo: Carsten Eisfeld, Berlin.

Carsten Höller, Shawinigan Swinging Room, 2007, Polystrene panels, glue, metal wire, 1154 x 388 x 145 cm, Courtesy Esther Schipper, Berlin, Photo: © National Gallery of Canada, Terrence Brennan, from the exhibition One, Some, Many/Deux plus tout, 3 shows by Carsten Höller, National Gallery of Canada, Shawinigan Space, Shawinigan/Quebec (2.6.2007-30.9.2007).

Carsten Höller, Four Installations in a Space Divided by Four

Carsten Höller, Shawinigan Swinging Room, 2007, Polystrene panels, glue, metal wire, 1154 x 388 x 145 cm, Courtesy Esther Schipper, Berlin, Photo: © National Gallery of Canada, Terrence Brennan, from the exhibition One, Some, Many/Deux plus tout, 3 shows by Carsten Höller, National Gallery of Canada, Shawinigan Space, Shawinigan/Quebec (2.6.2007-30.9.2007).

Carsten Holler, Gesangskanarienmobile (Singing Canaries Mobile), 2009, Powdercoated steel construction, wood, PVC, Installation: approx. 500 x 300 x 250 cm, 7 bird cages: 45 x 45 x 60 cm (L x W x H), Courtesy Esther Schipper, Berlin, Photo: © Carsten Eisfeld, Berlin, from Vogel Pilz Mathematik, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 01.05.-20.06.2009.

Carsten Höller, Swinging Curve, 2009, Styrofoam, wood, 1460 x 730 x 270 cm (L x B x H), Courtesy Gagosian Gallery, London, Photo: © Attilio Maranzano, from "Fare Mondi//Making Worlds", 53rd Biennale di Venezia, 07.06- 22.11.2009.

Carsten Höller, Drehendes Hotelzimmer (Revolving Hotel Room), 2008, chairs, table, bed, wardrobe, light bulbs, steel construction, 4 glass platforms, engine, approx. 600 x 600 cm, 180 cm (incl. furniture), Courtesy Gagosian Gallery, London, Photos: © Attilio Maranzano, Installation views Guggenheim, New York.

 

Museum Boijmans
Van Beuningen
Museumpark 18-20
+31 (0)10 44.19.400
Rotterdam
Divided Divided
Carsten Höller

February 6-April 25, 2010

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen presenteert een tentoonstelling van beeldend kunstenaar Carsten Höller. In Divided Divided creëert Höller speciaal voor het museum een installatie van 1500m2, waarin hij diverse elementen uit zijn oeuvre verder onderzoekt en vorm geeft.

Carsten Höller toont vier werken die speciaal op maat gemaakt zijn voor Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Hij presenteert een nieuwe serie samengestelde vliegenzwammen (Triple Giant Mushroom), videoprojecties van elkaar overlappende flikkerende beelden (Flicker Film), een mobile van vogelkooien (Singing Canaries Mobile) en een zwevende kamer (Double Swinging Room). Deze werken worden geplaatst op basis van een geometrische verdeling van de ruimte.

De plattegrond van de installatie in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is gebaseerd op een eenvoudige wiskundige formule, waarnaar alle werken binnen de installatie zich voegen. De formule bestaat uit het continu halveren van de basisvorm, het vierkant. Carsten Höller heeft deze formule ook toegepast op alle elementen van de Singing Canaries Mobile en op de indeling van de Double Swinging Room. Ook de vliegenzwammen bevinden zich op kruispunten van dit geometrische grid.

Carsten Höller onderzoekt de wisselwerking tussen de mens en zijn omgeving in zeer uiteenlopende experimenten. Zijn installatie in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen legt de nadruk op onze visuele perceptie; ze tonen hoe deze functioneert en gemanipuleerd kan worden. In Double Swinging Room wordt de bezoeker bijvoorbeeld op het verkeerde been gezet door de hangende wanden van deze ruimte. In het werk Flicker Film wordt duidelijk hoe de hersenen geprojecteerde beelden aanvullen.

Carsten Höller woont en werkt in Stockholm (Zweden). In 2002 was hij al te gast bij Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen met de installatie Light Corner waar de toeschouwer een ervaring van licht, kleur en warmte onderging. Recentelijk presenteerde hij The Double Club (Londen, 2008) in samenwerking met Fondazione Prada, waar een dialoog werd gecreëerd tussen de Congolese en Westerse hedendaagse cultuur. In Guggenheim Museum (New York, 2008) presenteerde hij Revolving Hotel Room, waar een volledige hotelkamer op vier draaiende plateaus werd geplaatst. Bezoekers konden een overnachting boeken en de museumcollectie op eigen houtje ontdekken.

Uitgeverij Hatje Cantz (Berlijn) publiceert een uitgebreid overzicht van het werk van Carsten Höller in het voorjaar van 2010. De tentoonstelling Divided Divided in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen zal deel uitmaken van dit overzicht. Deze publicatie zal verkrijgbaar zijn in de museumwinkel.

Carsten Höller, Scale model of Triple Giant Mushroom, 2009-2010
Photo: © Carsten Eisfeld, Berlin, Photo: © National Gallery of Canada,
Terrence Brennan.

Carsten Höller, Gesangskanarienmobile (Singing Canaries Mobile), 2009, Powdercoated steel construction, wood, PVC, Installation: approx. 500 x 300 x 250 cm, 7 bird cages: 45 x 45 x 60 cm (L x W x H), Courtesy Esther Schipper, Berlin, Photo: © Carsten Eisfeld, Berlin, from Vogel Pilz Mathematik, Esther Schipper, Berlin, 01.05.-20.06.2009.

Carsten Höller, Shawinigan Swinging Room, 2007, Polystrene panels, glue, metal wire, 1154 x 388 x 145 cm, Courtesy Esther Schipper, Berlin, Photo: © National Gallery of Canada, Terrence Brennan, from the exhibition One, Some, Many/Deux plus tout, 3 shows by Carsten Höller, National Gallery of Canada, Shawinigan Space, Shawinigan/Quebec (2.6.2007-30.9.2007).

Carsten Höller, Flicker Films (Werra Son), 2005, Three screen film installation, Duration: 14 mins., Courtesy Gagosian Gallery, London, from Carsten Höller, LOGIC, Gagosian Gallery, London, 1.9.-8.10.2005), Installation views, Guggenheim, New York.

Carsten Höller, Amusement Park, detail, 2006, Re-engineered amusement park rides: Gravitron, Courtesy MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts, Photo © NGC.

Carsten Höller, Three Installations that Interact with the Audience

National Gallery of Canada
380 Sussex Drive
Ottawa
613-990-1985
Carsten Höller,
One, Some, Many, 3 Shows

June 2-September 30, 2007

Two giant aviaries, one in-gallery amusement park, and a “laboratory of doubt” — the latter containing a Mercedes-Benz station wagon equipped with megaphones, a blindness-inducing maze and a wall of lights geared to flash in sync with the frequency of the human brain. This astonishing trilogy, which by its nature compels the participation of viewers, is what’s in store this summer at Shawinigan Space (Shawinigan, Quebec) when the National Gallery of Canada presents One, Some, Many: 3 Shows by Carsten Höller from 2 June to 30 September 2007, the first solo exhibition in Canada by this internationally acclaimed artist.

Only the Belgian-born Carsten Höller, widely known for his large-scale, multimedia and sculptural projects that unfailingly transform the way people interact with art and their surroundings, could (or would) conceive of such a dramatic trio of exhibitions. One, Some, Many, his no-holds-barred intervention in Shawinigan, promises an unforgettable contemporary art experience.

A doctorate in agricultural sciences with a specialty in plant and insect communication, Höller the scientist became Höller the artist in the early 1990s. He has since successfully experimented with a wide variety of media and forms of art, reconsidering everything from buildings, cars, and psychological tests, to the more playful aspects of human activity.

In One, Some, Many, Höller — a songbird enthusiast whose home in Stockholm, Sweden, contains several built-in aviaries — brings the outside world in, and enacts a series of situations that turn our sense of space and of ourselves inside-out.

The first of the three shows, The Belgian Problem, is an entirely new installation involving two gigantic symmetrical aviaries. The industrial architecture of Shawinigan Space and its natural surroundings provided the context for a major project, which is also inspired by the story of the arrival of the European Starling to North America in 1890. Eugene Schieffelin, a wealthy drug manufacturer, released eighty or so of these birds in New York’s Central Park in a bid to bring all the birds mentioned in Shakespeare to this continent. Schieffelin’s romantic gesture created the beginnings of a huge and unexpected bird migration, to the extent that starlings are now regarded as pests more than songbirds with a highly structured vocabulary. The Belgian Problem combines audioacoustic and nature elements creating an unprecedented display that is sure to make visitors see Shawinigan Space's airy first gallery, and themselves, in an entirely new light.

Next is The Histories of the Laboratory of Doubt, a series of “double” installations inspired by the near symmetrical architecture of Shawinigan Space’s first two exhibition halls. Since 1999, Carsten Höller’s practice has been primarily concerned with radically questioning the rational bases for our perception, knowledge and sense of identity and self. On view in the second show is the work that started this line of inquiry: The Laboratory of Doubt (1999), a readymade sculpture of a white Mercedes-Benz station wagon equipped with a pair of megaphones on the roof intended to disseminate doubt “without transposing it into imagery.” Also on view are a number of Höller’s “confusion machines”: large-scale installations intended to produce heightened states of awareness by synchronizing with visitors in an often powerful and exhilarating way. Included is the sensation-overwhelming Light Wall in which thousands of 25-watt light bulbs flash at a frequency attuned to brain activity, and Shawinigan Corridors: two corridors that turn pitch-black forcing viewers to rely on senses other than sight. This circuit of participatory installations takes over the brain’s centres of perception and temporarily hampers the ability to distinguish between body and mind, providing the visitor with a profound physiological experience.

Finally, Amusement Park features a series of readymade but altered fairground attractions. Five classic rides — the Twister, bumper cars, flying billiard balls, Baja and Gravitron — have been reengineered to mislead our expectations of the speed, thrills, sounds and light we would find in carnivals and fairgrounds. “The barely perceptible movement of the fairground rides in Amusement Park forces viewers to come to terms with a perceived gap between cognition, perception and experience,” says Jonathan Shaughnessy.

Taken together, the trio of shows provide three sharp angles on the sensation of doubt, and affecting, triangular journey that calls the viewer’s entire sense of self into question.

Amusement Park was originally exhibited at Mass MoCA (the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) in 2006. The Laboratory of Doubt (1999) first appeared in Anvers, Belgium.

Shawinigan Space is part of the Cité de l’énergie complex and is an exhibition venue of the National Gallery of Canada.

Carsten Höller (born 1961, Brussels, Belgium, lives and works in Fasta, Sweden) holds a doctorate in biology, and he uses his training as a scientist in his work as an artist, concentrating particularly on the nature of human relationships. Viewer participation is the key to all of Höller's sculptures, but it is less an end in itself than a vehicle to informally test the artist's theories concerning human perception and physiological reactions. Equal parts scientific experiment and sensual encounter, Höller's works are most frequently devoted to his singular obsession—chemically analyzing the nature of human emotions. Solandra Greenhouse, a work created for this exhibition, is a garden filled the with the Solandra maxima vine, a plant that exudes pheromones capable of inducing amorous feelings. Coupled with strobe lighting intended to create a slight disorientation in the visitor, the experience of the Solandra Greenhouse is meant to recapitulate the physical effects of falling in love.

 

Carsten Höller, Shawinigan Corridor, 2007, Gyproc panels, Produced by the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Photograph © NGC.

Carsten Höller, Shawinigan Corridor, 2007, Gyproc panels, two handrails, Produced by the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Photograph © NGC.

Carsten Höller, The Belgian Problem, 2007, Two aviaries, netting aluminum, wooden perches, feeding devices, nesting boxes, wood chippings, starlings, Produced by the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Photograph © NGC.

Carsten Höller, Light Wall, 2007, MDF panels, incandescent bulbs, frequency generator, pulse generator, loudspeakers, Courtesy Esther Schipper, Berlin, Photo © NGC.

Carsten Höller, Shawinigan Zöllner Stripes, 2001-2007, Black vinyl, Courtesy Esther Schipper, Berlin, Produced by the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Photograph © NGC.