Today, London's Hayward Gallery at the Southbank Centre has opened a major exhibition of the work of Carsten Höller, the artist who is best-known for playfully inserting his slide installations into major galleries worldwide. Titled Carsten Höller Decision, the exhibition features works from throughout Höller's career, as well as a number of new works created especially for the show - not least Isometric Slides, his latest slide installation that gives gallery visitors the option of leaving the exhibition at speed from the Hayward Gallery's pyramidal roof lights.
In addition to Isometric Slides, the exhibition features a number of installations that allow visitors to experience the gallery's space in new ways, including Höller's early work Upside-Down Goggles, an installation on the Hayward's outdoor terraces titled Two Flying Machines, which offers visitors an aerial view over the Southbank Centre, and the new installation Decision Corridors.
As the title suggests, the exhibition is designed to embrace the visitors themselves as part of the exhibition, making the decisions they take a key part of their experience of the work. From the choice of different entrances to the opportunity to leave the gallery by slide, the choices made by gallery visitors are highlighted - but perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in Pill Clock, a ceiling-mounted clock that will release over one million pills onto the gallery floor over the show's three-month display. Visitors can choose to take one of these mystery pills using the drinking fountain provided.
In an unusual move for an exhibition, the show also features Two Roaming Beds (Grey), a piece composed of - you guessed it - two beds which automatically roam the galleries. For £300 a night, these beds can be booked for an exclusive stay in the gallery, with full access to the artworks overnight.
"Carsten Höller is truly one of the world’s most thought-provoking and profoundly playful artists, with a sharp and mischievous intelligence bent on turning our 'normal' view of things upside-down," explains Ralph Rugoff, Director of Hayward Gallery and the exhibition's curator. "Höller's approach to art-making is also remarkably generous in its address, frequently involving some element of direct participation by gallery visitors and acknowledging their presence as a key element of the exhibition."
"Höller is an exceptional artist, whose playful and daring work transforms the inside and outside of the Hayward Gallery," added the Southbank Centre's Artistic Director Jude Kelly.