LONDON: Carsten Höller ‘Decision’ Exhibition Opens at Hayward Gallery

Captivating, perplexing, and utterly enthralling, Decision is a major survey of Belgian artist Carsten Höller’s works at the Hayward Gallery, presenting everything from specially created pieces, to early works such as ‘The Pinocchio Effect’ (1994).

Bringing together kinetic sculptures, videos, installations and light works that address notions of time and space, the exhibition is not dissimilar to a funfair, with ‘Isometric Slides’ allowing visitors to slide out the building and get a different view of London, as well as the opportunity to ‘fly’ via ‘Two Flying Machine’s over Hayward Gallery’s iconic sculpture terraces. Indeed, the artist admits his works provide a form of entertainment for those who experience it.

‘I see the exhibition as being functional in the way people have different reactions to different works. It can be playful at times, scary, and profoundly disorientating at the same time,’ Carsten Holler.

On entering the exhibition, visitors are forced to make several decisions – a key theme which remains throughout. Initially this starts with choosing which doors to enter through, each simultaneously labelled A and B, but continues with which stairs to climb and whether to try a mysterious pill from the floor to face unknown effects, giving each person a slightly different experience from the next. All the while, the works encourage viewers to question just how important their decisions might have been, and whether they affected the outcome at all. Thus, in this experiential and immersive exhibition, visitors and their reactions are just as vital to the work as the works themselves.

Highlights of the show include ‘Flying Mushrooms’, a new large-scale work of an upside-down mobile with giant psychedelic mushrooms, ‘Two Roaming Beds’, which robotically move around the galleries in slow motion and can be booked for an overnight stay during the exhibition, and of course ‘Two Flying Machines’ which enable visitors to experience flying outside.

One of the main highlights of the Southbank Centre’s summer programme, Carsten Höller: Decision is the last exhibition in the Hayward Gallery before its closure for repair and refurbishment for two years – and is not to be missed. –Emily Cater

Carsten Holler: Decision

Hayward Gallery Southbank Centre SE1 8XX / 44 (0)84 4847 9910

Runs through September 6 2015

Images courtesy of the Southbank Centre

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