Carsten Höller exhibition, LA
It’s never obvious what Belgian artist Carsten Höller means by his art. Instead the point, in most cases, seems to centre on the viewer’s reaction to, and interaction with, the work. Londoners might remember
" target="_blank" >Test Site, his 2006 commission for the Tate Modern comprised of a series of slides twisting down from the museum’s galleries to the foyer below.
At Höller’s latest exhibition, Reindeers and Spheres, that opened last Saturday at the Gagosian in LA, he offers viewers a chance to interact with an intriguing mix of photographic collages, sculpture, and motorized installations.
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Two flashing glass spheres hang and sit alongside a bright green cast of a reposing reindeer. On the walls a series of photographs depict a nude woman, ethereally pale, holding a hallucinogenic mushroom beside a reindeer. Similar mushrooms revolve on mechanical stands hooked up to silver metal suitcases in the middle of the room.
Höller’s academic background might be in biology, in which he has a doctorate, but his artistic fascination seems to lie more with the psychology of perception. The entire show feels more like a transient daydream than an actual experience, and like a daydream perhaps makes better sense in the moment than in the recollection.