‘I like my work to be half and half. Half art and half non-art,’ says Belgian-born artist Carsten Höller; and his latest project - a pop-up bar, restaurant and dance club in London that opens today - does just that.
Split in two in more ways than one, the new work also incorporates Holler’s personal passion for the Congo, and has a name – The Double Club – to match his philosophy.
The project is orchestrated by the Fondazione Prada and as Artistic Director Germano Celant explains, follows the foundation’s vision: ‘Our idea is not just to create exhibitions, but to do larger projects, ones that blur the distinction between art and life’.
Aiming to create a dialogue between Congolese and Western contemporary culture, the whole space is literally split in two, showcasing art, design, music and food from both cultural perspectives. However, instead of merging them into one, the artist chose to keep them distinctly separate yet harmoniously next to each other, and under the same roof. The Club features three rooms: a Western restaurant (pictured top), a Congolese courtyard bar (pictured above), and a revolving dance floor uniting both sides in a single room.
The restaurant will serve both Congolese and Western food on Congolese tablecloths and Kram and Weisshaar-designed tables, where the guests can savour from Kossa Kossa giant shrimps to classic crispy pork belly, before setting off for a dance to Western and Congolese tunes, either live, or by a DJ.
Not limited to food, the multiple cultural identity of the space also extends to artwork, including work by Carla Accardi, Ole Baertling, Andy Warhol and Louise Nevelson, to Congolese Cheri Samba, Franco and Moke the Painter, including a large Portuguese azulejos tiles garden showing the 1920s design of a flying city by Russian architect Georgi Krutikow.
Höller, who is also known from his Test Site giant slide installation in the Tate Modern last year, shares the Fondazione’s views and has always been particularly interested in art which would equally well stand happily outside a museum context. ‘I often see my work as making a proposition; the result is the personal experience,’ he explains.
The Double Club, which is directed by Jan Kennedy, the man behind Damien Hirst's Pharmacy and co-founder of the legendary Ibizan club We Love Sundays at Space, will be with us, in London’s Islington, from the 21st November for six months; and after that, 'who knows?' says co-designer Clemens Weisshaar.
7 Torrens St
London EC1V 1NQ
Receive our daily digest of inspiration, escapism and design stories from around the world direct to your inbox
Melina Keays is the entertaining director of Wallpaper*. She has been part of the brand since the magazine’s launch in 1996, and is responsible for entertaining content across the print and digital platforms, and for Wallpaper’s creative agency Bespoke. A native Londoner, Melina takes inspiration from the whole spectrum of art and design – including film, literature, and fashion. Her work for the brand involves curating content, writing, and creative direction – conceiving luxury interior landscapes with a focus on food, drinks, and entertaining in all its forms
BMW i5 Flow NOSTOKANA brings Esther Mahlangu’s art to life at Frieze LA
BMW’s Art Car Project has rarely impacted on the company’s everyday business of building cars. With the BMW i5 Flow NOSTOKANA, could all that be about to change?
By Jonathan Bell Published
This Walter S White house in Indio is given a new lease of life
This Walter S White house in Indio, California, has been redesigned for the 21st century by Sean Gaston
By Hadani Ditmars Published
The Arts Foundation Futures Awards 2024 celebrate UK’s rising creatives
Here are The Arts Foundation Futures Awards 2024 winners, spanning theatre writing, jazz composition and regenerative design
By Tianna Williams Published