Carsten Höller and The Art of Fun MAIR23

Carsten Höller and The Art of Fun MAIR23

Slides and fairground rides, disorientating and psychedelic. Just ome of the art experiences you can expect from Carsten Höller!


Brief Biography

Carsten Höller was born in Brussels in 1961  to German parents and currently lives in Sweden.

He has a degree in Agricultural Entomology and never studied art

Why did I pick him

You and Your Other You  1997

Höller and the artist Maurizio Cattelan created two identical shows in to Paris galleries. Cattelan copied Höller’s exhibition, they showed identical works. This work referenced identity theft and proposed that   shows are equal in equal in merit.


Ball House 1999 and Frisbee House 2000

He has created works similar in nature to Martin Creed


In 1999’s Ball house he filled a room with balls and in 2000’s  Frisbee house he filled a room with Frisbees, the audience was  invited to play in the rooms.


House for Pigs and People 1997

House for Pigs and People 1997 was a work made  in partnership with the artist Rosemarie Trockel, Höller

For the work they constructed a purpose built building with a garden and enclosure for pigs. Also there was a separate viewing area on a slope at the end of the slope was a 2 way mirror. The pigs would be confronted with their reflections but the audience could see the pigs clearly. This work makes people look at animals in a different way. It brings up questions such as what is the difference between us and animals?  How can we treat them in ways that we would not treat humans? What makes us so different?

Giant Psycho Tank 1999

Visitor are invited to float in a heated sensory floation tank.


Mirrored Carousel 2005

This work  is a full-size fairground carousel, covered in mirrored surfaces and lights. Each person sits on a small swing seat and slowly goes round. As it slowly goes round, users experience quite a dizzying ride and the light is endlessly refracted in the mirrors. Also watching people experience the work is part of the experience too.
Höller feels when we go to the galley we cannot separate the experience of the work from the people you encounter..

The Pinocchio Effect 1999

For this work visitors attach a vibrating device to there arm close their eyes and touch there nose. The brain is tricked into believing the nose is growing.

Test site 2006 – 2007

This was an installation of 3 giant enclosed metallic slides tunnel slides in  the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall – the largest is 56 metres long and with a stomach-churning 27-metre drop. Why slides are not used more is a mystery to the artist. He feels that they should be used more in architecture…There is a sense that we loose when we are children and the slides somehow connect us with this feeling..

In 2016 he attached one of his slides (with the help of Anish Kapoor) to the Arcelor Mittal Orbit ( Britain’s largest sculpture). The slide, is located at London’s Olympic Park, takes around 40 seconds to go down its 178m.

You can see a video about the tate slide here


Revolving Hotel room 2010

As part of his exhibition divided divided

He installed a hotel room in an exhibition in Rotterdam in which guests could stay over night at in the museum art gallery. It was a 3 tonne rotating hotel room, the parts of the room  slowly rotated on 4 discs, it took about an hour for the rotation to complete. Guest were also free to explore the other exhibits on there own whilst staying there, with only a personal butler to accompany them.


Here is an interview for the German DW TV about the piece


2000 upside down mushroom room

Giant red rotating mushroom sculptures hang upside down from a ceiling of a gallery space.

Soma 2010

installed in a gallery

Soma was sacred ritual practised in ancient times. It is thought that it involved the taking of a  psychedelic plant to achieve higher states.

The main part of the installation was a 2 groups of Reindeer, they were kept apart by a large fence running down the middle there were 6 on one side and 6 on the other.

As in a scientific test which you have a control group, which is fed a placebo. One group of reindeer were fed normal food and mushrooms, and other group was fed there normal feed and mushrooms of a psychedelic variety. The mushrom used were  “fly agaric” the are large Red mushrooms with white dots on them, Reindeer eat these in the wild.

The reindeer’s urine was collected and stored. Guests were invited to stay over night, there were unlocked fridges that contained the urine and mushrooms they were not labled.  Guests were free to drink the urine or eat the mushrooms. Though there was no instruction to do so

There was no questionnaire for the visitor to fill in post experience.  The work was about the personal experience of the participator in the Piece.


There is a video of the work here….



Author: Marcus

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