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Travel Tip: Art and Archaeology in England
Carsten Höller: Test Site

Carsten H&ouml;ller: <EM>Test Site</EM>Photo courtesy of Tate Modern
Carsten Höller: Test Site
Photo courtesy of Tate Modern
Carsten Höller: Test Site
LONDON  •  Tate Modern  •  Ongoing

German artist Carsten Höller (b. 1961) has installed five gigantic slides in the cavernous Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern in London. When asked to comment on his slide sculptures and the possible effects of sliding as part of one's daily routine, he replied:

"A slide is a sculpture that you can travel inside. However, it would be a mistake to think that you have to use the slide to make sense of it. Looking at the work from the outside is a different but equally valid experience, just as one might contemplate The Endless Column (1938) by Constantin Brancusi. From an architectural and practical perspective, the slides are one of the building’s means of transporting people, equivalent to the escalators, elevators or stairs. Slides deliver people quickly, safely and elegantly to their destinations, they’re inexpensive to construct and energy-efficient. They’re also a device for experiencing an emotional state that is a unique condition somewhere between delight and madness. It was described in the fifties by the French writer Roger Caillois as ‘a kind of voluptuous panic upon an otherwise lucid mind’."

Carsten Höller holds a doctorate in biology, and he uses his training as a scientist in his work as an artist, concentrating particularly on the nature of human relationships. Equal parts scientific experiment and sensual encounter, Höller's works are most frequently devoted to his singular obsession—chemically analyzing the nature of human emotions. Solandra Greenhouse, a work created for an exhibition at the 2004 - 2005 Carnegie International in Pittsburgh, is a garden filled the with the Solandra maxima vine, a plant that exudes pheromones capable of inducing amorous feelings. Coupled with strobe lighting intended to create a slight disorientation in the visitor, the experience of the Solandra Greenhouse is meant to recapitulate the physical effects of falling in love.

Tate Modern Web Site

Detailed schedule information:

Level 2 slides: Free, no ticket required
Level 3, 4 and 5 slides: Free, timed ticket required.
Tickets valid for one ride on one slide. 

Visitors under the influence of drugs or alcohol are not permitted to use the slides.

Pregnant women or individuals with heart or back conditions should not use the slides.

Contact: Tate Modern
London SE1 9TG
Tel: (44) 20 78 87 88 88

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