This week at The L Magazine I discuss Carsten Holler’s exhibition at the New Museum. I like it.
There's a slide ready to be ridden in the New Museum. It's part of Carsten Höller's career survey Experience (through January 15), and it's only one element of a show that takes every device from a traveling carnival except the concession stands.
I don't have any problem with this as an exhibition concept—I like fun—but it doesn't leave me with much to write about it. Experience is more about emptying your mind than it is about contemplating a specific philosophical question, so the kinds of conversations the show tends to inspire will more often revolve around the work than delve into its meaning.
New York audiences may be used to this; 2008 alone brought Pipilotti Rist's blissed-out atrium installation at MoMA, and Olafur Eliasson's mood-altering light installations at MoMA PS1. Both were participation-based. Visiting the New Museum requires an extra step before getting to this: signing waivers! I'm not pregnant or short, but there was enough paperwork to make me worry I might be wrong about that and be liable for something. I also worried I would either lose or damage the exhibition goggles loaned to me; the viewing device turns everything upside down and costs $1,500 to replace.
To read the full piece, click here.