Tate Modern Exhibition

The Unilever Series: Carsten Höller: Test site

For Carsten Höller, the experience of sliding is best summed up in a phrase by the French writer Roger Caillois as a 'voluptuous panic upon an otherwise lucid mind'. The slides are impressive sculptures in their own right, and you don't have to hurtle down them to appreciate this artwork. What interests Höller, however, is both the visual spectacle of watching people sliding and the 'inner spectacle' experienced by the sliders themselves, the state of simultaneous delight and anxiety that you enter as you descend.

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Vox Pops: Tate visitors

To date Höller has installed six smaller slides in other galleries and museums, but the cavernous space of the Turbine Hall offers a unique setting in which to extend his vision. Yet, as the title implies, he sees it as a prototype for an even larger enterprise, in which slides could be introduced across London, or indeed, in any city. How might a daily dose of sliding affect the way we perceive the world? Can slides become part of our experiential and architectural life?

Höller has undertaken many projects that invite visitor interaction, such as Flying Machine 1996 that hoists the user through the air, Upside-Down Goggles 1994/2001 that modify vision, and Frisbee House 2000, a room full of Frisbees. The slides, like these earlier works, question human behaviour, perception and logic, offering the possibility for self-exploration in the process.

Tate Modern

London SE1 9TG
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10 October 2006 – 15 April 2007

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Tate Papers

Art of Interaction: A Theoretical Examination of Carsten Höller’s Test Site

Mark Windsor

This paper looks at the interactivity of Carsten Höller’s Test Site 2006, using Alfred Gell’s Art and Agency ...


Carsten Höller in conversation with Claire Bishop

Carsten Höller disturbs his viewers' assumptions with installations or interactive sculptures that deliberately but often playfully induce doubts and confusion.

The Unilever Series at Tate Modern iPad app

Produced to celebrate 13 years of The Unilever Series at Tate Modern, one of the most innovative and significant contemporary ...