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19.06.2011 - 23.10.2011
Carsten Höller
Problemspiel

The great promises of happiness and good fortune – playing, nature, love, children, ecstasy – run like a golden thread through Carsten Höller's exhibition "Problemspiel" (Problemplay).

 

On the large grassy area of the Gerisch sculpture park, visitors are greeted by a memorable contrast. An old-fashioned children's merry-go-round, the epitome of the ecstatic suspension of the constraints of space and time, stands opposite a greatly enlarged fly agaric mushroom, the embodiment of a fairy-tale blow-up of the natural world. However, carefree play and fairy-tale ecstasy are not Höller's themes. He is interested in their flip-side, what lies beneath the play. The merry-go-round rotates as if paralysed, infinitely slowly instead of intoxicatingly fast. The merry-go-round rotates so slowly, in fact, that you can barely tell it is rotating. Ecstasy and sobriety, myth and science, play and problem; these opposites permeate the work of Carsten Höller and create a narrative. The fly agaric is rooted in the world of Central European fairy-tales like no other mushroom. It is colourful but poisonous. It embodies danger and the opportunity to alter your mind. Last year, Höller devoted a large exhibition at Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin to the legendary drink 'Soma', which is supposed to be extracted from fly agaric mushrooms. A monumental 3.5-metre high Giant-Triple-Mushroom (put together in collage fashion from half a fly agaric and two quarters of other mushrooms) is now the most recent addition to the collection of the Gerisch Foundation and stands in the 'fairy-tale wood', so named by the garden designer Harry Maasz in 1924. In addition there will be numerous early as well as current works placed in the Villa Wachholtz and Gerisch-Galerie.

 

We are very pleased to be able to present the work of Carsten Höller, who began his international career in Kiel over 20 years ago, in his first major exhibition in Schleswig-Holstein.