Our ‘experience’ is the primary ‘material’ Carsten Höller manipulates as an artist. He aims to alter how we perceive the world and spark the senses in new ways. Inspired by his work as a biologist, Höller uses the museum to make scientific and philosophical experiments that reshape our expectations about art and produce unexpected outcomes.
To slide is to experience ‘a kind of voluptuous panic upon an otherwise lucid mind’, says Höller recalling the words of sociologist Roger Caillois, eliciting ‘an emotional state somewhere between delight and madness’. The sensations generated by sliding are central to his work and we are invited to observe our own experience of fear, anticipation and excitement as we hurtle through space.
Carsten Höller, Belgium/Sweden b.1961 / Left/Right Slide 2010 / Stainless steel, polycarbonate and rubber mats / Commissioned for ‘21st Century: Art in the First Decade’ / Purchased 2010 with a special allocation from the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery / © The artist