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Carsten Höller artist

PROJECT: The Slide


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The Slide will twist and turn 12 times, including a tight corkscrew section named the ‘bettfeder’ – after the German word for ‘bedspring.’ It’s the world’s tallest and longest slide, opening inside Anish Kapoor’s ArcelorMittal Orbit London tower in June 2016.

The attraction is a collaboration between artist Kapoor and designer Carsten Höller. The 178-metre helter skelter, designed with Bblur Architects, includes transparent polycarbonate sections allowing riders to look at the surrounding Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as they descend. Riders are expected to hit speeds of up to 15 miles per hour during the 40-second trip from top to bottom.

Höller says: “Since 1999, I have built a number of slides, both freestanding and attached to buildings, but never onto another artwork as in this case.

“Now that the two artworks will be intertwined with each other, I see it as one of these double situations that I am so interested in. I like it when a sense of unity is reached in two separate entities, and you can find this thought to repeatedly occur in my work.”

In a recent exhibition at London’s Southbank Centre, Höller caused a buzz with his specially-commissioned 15-metre-long slide on the Hayworth Gallery’s exterior. It allowed visitors, as they reached the end of the exhibition, to travel down the exterior of the building in a rather unconventional fashion, rather than exit via the building’s staircase. It constituted “a graceful, sculptural installation,” according to Höller, leaving visitors “experiencing an emotional state that is a unique condition somewhere between delight and madness.”

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