This summer, vistors to London’s Hayward Gallery will be invited into the intriguing world of Belgian artist Carsten Höller and his new show, Decision. Höller, who used to be a scientist, makes art that plays with human perception and challenges viewers to involve themselves in the work.
Upon entering the gallery, museumgoers will be faced with two giant spiraling slides that will deposit them into one of two starting points for the exhibition, emphasizing the theme of choice that runs throughout the show.
It isn’t the first time Höller has asked museum visitors to ride a slide. A slide at his 2006 Tate show was a hit (despite rumors of injuries). And in 2011, one of Höller’s slides came to New York’s New Museum as part of his Experience exhibit–a show for which lines were notoriously long.
Curator and Hayward Gallery director Ralph Rugoff said in a press release that the latest show “will ask visitors to make choices, but also, more importantly, to embrace a kind of double vision that takes in competing points of view, and embodies what Höller calls a state of ‘active uncertainty’–a frame of mind conducive to entertaining new possibilities.”
Höller’s Pill Clock, an installation that drops pills from the ceiling, presents more choices, encouraging attendees to swallow one and see what happens. This Alice In Wonderland vibe continues with the artist’s famous upside-down mushroom sculptures and another old piece, The Pinocchio Effect, which employs a simple optical illusion to make it seem that the viewer’s nose is growing.
Elsewhere, a pair of robotic beds will roam the gallery separately, mimicking each other’s movements. And if all that isn’t enough to shake up your senses, consider trying out his Upside Down Goggles, which do exactly as they suggest.
If you’re in London this summer, we recommend you give yourself plenty of time to immerse yourself in this surreal world. Decision opens June 10 and runs till September 6.