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Carsten Höller

Carsten Höller artist
PROJECT: Decisions at the Hayward Gallery


Unusual things were happening at London’s Southbank Centre recently as the artist Carsten Höller was given free rein at the Hayward Gallery.

An array of installations – eclectic, eccentric and playful – were brought together for a new exhibition, entitled Decisions.

Höller caused a buzz with his specially-commissioned 15-metre-long (49 foot) slides on the gallery’s exterior – which enabled visitors to travel from the glass pyramid ceiling of the Hayward Galllery to the entrance level – and inside the gallery things were equally playful.

One highlight was two moving robotic beds that wandered around the galleries throughout the night.

Entitled Two Roaming Beds (Grey), the installation enabled two people to sleep in the gallery each night, tucked up in bed as they trundled slowly among the artworks on a bed-machine on wheels.

The idea being that if you stirred during the night you would be in a different location each time.

The rate for a night on Two Roaming Beds (Grey) was £300 ($461, E421) and it was a sell out.

Visitors were also treated to an installation called Flying Machines, which gave the sensation of flying over London’s Waterloo Bridge and The Pinocchio Effect, which had technology that made visitors feel as though their noses were growing.

The Isomeric Slides, which had already been featured at the nearby Tate Modern, were located at the end of the experience, giving visitors the choice of how to leave: by stairs, elevator or slide.

Built onto the gallery’s exterior wall, the slides constituted “a graceful sculptural installation,” according to Höller, leaving visitors “experiencing an emotional state that’s a unique condition somewhere between delight and madness.”

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