Carsten Höller at the Gerisch Foundation
||He brought live reindeer to the Hamburger Bahnhof, delighted visitors to the Tate Modern with a giant slide, and built a house for people and pigs at documenta X. Carsten Höller’s projects explore the boundaries between art and science, between experiment and exhibition. With his site-specific works, he evokes immediate emotional reactions that are often rooted in childhood memories. This is the case with his current Deutsche Bank-sponsored show at the Gerisch Foundation in the town of Neumünster in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein. The exhibition, entitled Problemspiel (Problem Game), is akin to a theme park. On the forest glade in front of Villa Wachholtz – the Art Nouveau building the foundation uses for its exhibition projects – a merry-go-round is turning. Next to it is a giant fly agaric is cut in half. In the villa there is a bright green reindeer baby, a playground for mice, and psychedelic photographs of leisures parks recalling an LSD trip.
The occupation with the theme of expanding consciousness continues in a film that the artist shows of himself conducting a self-experiment. Höller eats fly agarics and documents their effect, which is between a hallucinatory illumination and nausea. Problemspiel investigates the dark drawbacks of human existence inscribed in an idyll. Höller’s life seems to have had a strong impact on his artistic strategy. He studied biology, specializing in agricultural science. Then he changed sides. Since then, Höller has posed his experimentally oriented questions using the means of art. His Problemspiel at the Gerisch Foundation will leave a lasting impression. Even after the exhibition ends, Höller’s 3.5-meter-high Giant Triple Mushroom will spring up in the so-called "Fairytale Forest" in the sculpture park there.
Carsten Höller, Problemspiel
June 19 – October 23, 2011
Gerisch Foundation, Neumünster
Open conversation with the artist: Sunday, September 25, 12 noon