As I had not seen an exhibition since The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, I was feeling the need for culture. I planned two art exhibitions over the weekend; both were very different in terms of content and media attention, but rather bizarrely the artists in question shared the same Christian name – Carsten.
First I headed to a funky pop up location on the top floor of Brewer Street Car Park. Taking over the top floor of The Vinyl Factory space is a small exhibition of just two installations by German artist and musician Carsten Nicolai. The first, unicolor, is a vast digital wall that projects wavelengths of colours and sounds to create the impression of limitless extension using mirrors. The effect was hypnotising. The second part – bausatz noto – is equally striking, as one is presented with multi-coloured vinyl records to play on a table specially designed with four Technics turntables. Each groove played a different sound, allowing one to release an inner DJ.
No admission fee and no queues make this a must see experiential exhibition. Carsten Nicolai: unicolor is only on until 2nd August but do try and catch it.
Then it was over to the Hayward Gallery at the Southbank Centre for something completely different. There was a £15 entrance fee and a massive queue for Carsten Höller: Decision, the biggest ever UK exhibition for this globally renowned artist they call the “authentic Willy Wonka of contemporary art.” (Pictured in main image below)
Inside the exhibition there was another queue to see The Forests dual-screen video which I didn’t think was worth the wait. The upside down goggles were brilliant but left me a bit dizzy, whilst Decision Corridors was a great interactive experience that made me realise how important light is in our lives.
Certainly the most arresting sight was the huge spiral slide that decorated the front of the gallery. It certainly makes the Southbank Centre building look much better, but is it art? To my mind it wouldn’t look out of place in an amusement park. However, sliding down it did bring out the child in me.
Carsten Höller: Decision is at the Hayward Gallery until 6th September.