Carsten Höller’s slides: A fun way to experience museums

Last updated:

Carsten Höller - Test Site, 2007, New Museum, New York - Exhibition Experience, 2011

Carsten Höller – Test Site, 2007, New Museum, New York – Exhibition: Experience, 2011, photo: Benoit Pailley

Published: August 17, 2017

Last updated:

Carsten Höller & his work

Carsten Höller is well known for playfully including his slide installations in major museums across the world. Höller, who is formerly a scientist with a degree in agronomy, is famous for repurposing components of the real world, such as slides, for art spaces. The majority of his works feature aesthetics that are relational, meaning that the projects created are inspired by the relationship that people have with their social contexts. The end result of Höller’s incredible work is an experience that resembles part playground and part lab, which is a crowd-pleaser.

Höller’s slides: Playful and dissident

Höller stages quasi-scientific experiments that affect the audience’s state of perception; his slides cause participants to question their relationship with ordinary things that surround them, with other people around them and with themselves. As such, all of the slides are both playful and dissident, creating an experience that is enjoyable and unnerving.

Video: Carsten Höller introduces Left/Right Slide

5 min 34 sec

Transforming museums into anarchic and utopian environments

By opening up places that were traditionally considered to be serious, Carsten Höller creates an anarchic and utopian environment that enables people to relate to each other and the art situated in the gallery freely. Because of the fascinating slides, people are reborn and are able to create new human relations in a space that suspends social order. Undoubtedly, the experience of sliding down the humongous pieces of art is exhilarating in itself; however, audiences do not have to grasp the significance of the slides by sliding down them.

Video: Carsten Höller speaks at the NGV Melbourne

54 min 55 sec

Conclusion

His body of work is popular with audiences and attracts large groups from different parts of the world. Visitors seem to delight in his artworks because it allows them to experience art that can be looked at and touched. The works created are all-encompassing, meaning that it is also possible to experience the pieces through other attendees. Alternatively, the pieces can also be enjoyed through contemplation or from an outsider’s view.

Höller’s slides

The Florence Experiment, 2018, Florence
Carsten Höller - The Florence Experiment, 2018, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence

Carsten Höller – The Florence Experiment, 2018, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, photo: Martino Margheri

Carsten Höller - The Florence Experiment, 2018, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence

Carsten Höller – The Florence Experiment, 2018, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, photo: Martino Margheri

Isomeric Slides, 2015, Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, London

20 sec

43 sec
Vitra Slide Tower, 2014, Weil am Rhein, Germany

1 min 24 sec
Left/Right Slide, 2010, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane
Carsten Höller - Left:Right Slide 2010, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia, photo Natasha Harth

Carsten Höller – Left/Right Slide, 2010, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia, photo: Natasha Harth

Carsten Höller – Left/Right Slide, 2010, Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane, Australia, photo: Natasha Harth

Double Slide, 2009, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb
Carsten Höller - Double Slide, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, Croatia, photo Myriam Thyes

Carsten Höller – Double Slide, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, Croatia, photo: Myriam Thyes, Msu-zagreb-shute, CC BY-SA 3.0

Carsten Höller - Double Slide, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, photo JasonParis

Carsten Höller – Double Slide, Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, Croatia, photo: JasonParis, Double slide, CC BY 2.0

Test Site, 2007, New Museum, New York

29 sec
Carsten Höller - Test Site, 2007, New Museum, New York - Exhibition Experience, 2011

Carsten Höller – Test Site, 2007, New Museum, New York – Exhibition: Experience, 2011, photo: Benoit Pailley

Test Site, 2006, Turbine Hall, Tate Modern
Carsten Höller - Test Site, 2006, Installation view (Unilever Series - Carsten Höller, Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London 2006), dimension variable

Carsten Höller – Test Site, 2006, Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, London, photo: public domain

Slide at Prada, 2000, The Milan headquarters
Carsten Höller - slide at Prada, The Milan headquarters, Italy, Miuccia Prada's office with entrance to slide

Carsten Höller – Slide at Prada, The Milan headquarters, Italy, Miuccia Prada’s office with entrance to slide

Carsten Höller - slide at Prada, The Milan headquarters, Italy, starting in Miuccia Prada’s office

Carsten Höller – Slide at Prada, The Milan headquarters, Italy, Miuccia Prada’s office with entrance to slide

Related articles

Discover more ..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*


Stay in touch

We would love to keep the conversation going.

Please join us on Pinterest, YouTube or Instagram.

Want inspiration in your inbox?