Carsten Höller has a doctorate in Agricultural Sciences. He was to adopt this knowledge of the scientific working method in his artistic activity, although subverting its basic rules. Höller conceives art as a cognitive instrument and uses his works to transform individuals’ sensory and emotional experience. He loves to disorientate and provoke spectators, altering traditional mechanisms of perception and placing the assertive and positivist codes of traditional science in question. He creates situations or experiences, through altered and hallucinatory states or labyrinthine paths, which, instead of giving certainties, instil doubts and make you lose your bearings. His works almost always invite the public to participate actively in them. Hence works such as the big slides for the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern in London (2006) or the giant overturned mushrooms for the Fondazione Prada in Milan (2000), where visitors, even if involuntarily, themselves take on the role of the object of an experiment. Höller’s is a radical vision that, in the name of possible alternative models of life, deconstructs and dismantles the normal categories of judgement. His works tend to cancel out separations: as in the case of the “Double Club” (London, 2008-2009), where two different cultures, Western and African, are made to interact.
Photo © Agostino Osio, Alto Piano
Lives and works: in Stockholm
Solo and group exhibitions and projects
Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Høvikodden (2017); Hangar Bicocca, Milano (2016); Hayward Gallery, Londra (2015); New Museum, New York (2011); Hamburger Bahnhof Museum für Gegenwart, Berlino (2010); MAC Musée d’Art Contemporain, Marsiglia (2004); Fondazione Prada, Milano (2000); Biennale di Venezia (2015, 2009, 2005, 2003); Biennale di Berlino (2014, 1998); Biennale di Gwangju, (2014, 1995); Biennale di Lione (2003, 2000, 1995); Biennale di Istanbul (1999, 1997); Documenta, Kassel (1997).