Biography of Carsten Höller
Once a successful entomologist, the artist Carsten Höller applies the skills he learnt in the laboratory to distort and manipulate viewers' behavior in a manner never before seen in contemporary art. Known for his large-scale installations that only reach their final form with participation from the viewer, Höller seeks to extend the boundaries of human perception to embrace new physiological sensations. His work Test Site, 2006, comprised of five spiraling tubular slides from the upper floors of the vast Turbine Hall in Tate Modern, London. A prime example of participatory art, Höller was not interested in the work's sculptural presence but in the loss of control and simultaneous pleasure and fear of the participants' experience. His work has demanded a new definition and has been described as belonging to the category of Relational Aesthetics, in that it is derived from the relationships between humans and social context. Höller is adept at re-purposing elements of the real world for museum or gallery spaces. His more recent tendency to place roaming beds in museums, introduces moments of uncertainty and makes the sleepers view the institution in a wholly new light. Museums and galleries thus become playgrounds and interactive mediums not simply sites for seriousness.
Born in 1961 in Brussels, Belgium, Carsten Höller had been making art since the 1980s despite the fact that his doctorate was not completed until 1988. Now living in Stockholm, Sweden, Höller is greatly in demand around the world and has numerous international solo exhibitions such as Fondazione Prada, Milan in 2000, and Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin in 2010. His stunning and intricate prints and multiples reflect his scientific background and are available in small, limited editions.