October 10, 2006

Somewhat Kid-skeptical Artist/Dad Builds Giant Slides In Tate Modern

holler_tate_slides.jpgThe Tate Modern's giant Turbine Hall is the site of London's most high-profile art installations. Opening today is a set of giant curly slides by entemologist-turned-artist Carsten Holler. In an interview with the Observer, who discussed the impact becoming a father has had on his work:

He came to fame in 1990-93 with an exhibition of devices for catching and killing children; one, for instance, was a swing fixed to the roof edge of a high-rise building. Was he really such a paedophobe? 'Well, now I have a daughter I've changed my mind! I never hated children, but I hated the idea of making children, the whole reproductive process. There's no freedom if you cannot get rid of the biological machinery that makes us decide to do this thing and not that thing. I thought very much about how you could break that chain. I was determined and convinced that I would not have children.'

So what happened: did he fall in love? 'I fell in love all the time! Very much so, even more, because I would not have children. But I think once you have really explored a certain conviction, it is time to give it up. I don't think you should go on holding it for the rest of your life. So I thought it was time to have a child, to see if I was right or wrong. And I found I was both right and wrong.'

So he switches from deathswings to slides that make people cry out with spontaneous joy? Is it too much to say the kid has a positive influence on his outlook?

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,,1889942,00.html">Go down the slippery slope [uk observer]
The Unilever Series: Carsten Holler [tate.org.uk]
See more of Holler's work at Air de Paris, including his slide at PS1 in nyc, the deathswing, and a kid's bicycle with an exploding gas can on the back. [airdeparis.com]
very interesting: Holler talking about his slides in 1999 [artforum via findarticles]

1 Comment

Those are functional? I'm booking tickets to London right now.

I think he should have made the whole thing stainless instead of adding that transparent top. Going down a 5 story spiral slide without being able to see anything would have been sheer terror and totally awesome.

[in that Artforum article, mega-curator and self-proclaimed "slide specialist" Daniel Birnbaum said of Holler's first slide installations, "I can assure you that Carsten Holler's two slides (Valerio I and Valerio II, both 1998) at Berlin's Kunst-Werke are quite effective and also unusually fast." I imagine he's only gotten better. -ed.]

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