Slides, orange snakes, music videos and perception altering gadgets make up much of Carsten Höller’s exhibition: “Decisions”. The exhibition immerses visitors in a series of experimental environments to explore perception and decision making. Beginning with a choice of entrances, the exhibition presents you with objects and scenarios that ask you to reflect on the decision-making process. Höller explores the importance of doubt and uncertainty, the pleasures of indecision and those moments of not knowing.
Describing the exhibition in too much detail would spoil the experience and I encourage people to avoid reviews that give too much away. The less one knows the more enjoyable the exhibition.
Having said this, most people will have seen the images of the giant flying mushrooms. These are great fun. Instantly recognisable as the “dangerous” white and red fungi of literature and folklore, Höller has turned them into a moving installation of giant proportions. Visitors are encouraged to push the installation and make the mushrooms fly through the air in different directions. The other, which one can’t fail to notice as one arrives, is the sight of two people suspended outside the exhibition on the Flying machine. But interestingly of all the installations these two offer the least challenges to your perception or the senses.
It is also worth mentioning that there are a couple of installations that can be easily overlooked but keep your eyes open for Divisions (A wall painting with Aphids) and Fara Fara, which explores Congolese music. Höller found this music fascinating because its construct is unlike anything else. It is tempting to jump in and out of Fara Fara quickly and not watch the whole thing, but resist this urge and watch the full installation from start to finish, it is well worth it.
Another question that visitors may ask themselves is: “Is this art”? When does art end, experience start and mass entertainment take over? Perhaps this debate that is best left to the academics, for whatever they say, the Carsten Höller’s exhibition is great fun.
So for one day this summer leave the world behind you and let your inner child out for a few hours.
Carsten Höller: Decision is the artist’s largest survey show in the UK to date. The exhibition is open until 6th September 2015. For more information and tickets go to: http://carstenholler.southbankcentre.co.uk/
Notes & Credits: Photography is care of the Southbank centre via Google Images