German artist Carsten Höller was born in Brussels in 1961. His art career began while doing graduate studies in animal sciences, a background that informs part of his work. Höller has shown in biennial exhibitions like Manifesta, Venice, Lyon and Sao Paolo. In 1997 he participated in Documenta X. He has done solo projects at the Tate Modern (2006) and the Guggenheim Museum (2008).
Höller produces what he calls “confusion machines”, normally in the form of large-scale installations. His practice is typified by open-ended arrangements rich in materials, sound and colour where no dominant idea comes to the fore. Thus Höller engages viewers by drawing them into a sensory and mental interchange, with doubt and perplexity as key components.
A number of themes run through Höller’s work. He often uses doubled subjects, flipping elements upside-down or creating visual flickers between multiple realities. Animals frequently appear, as do other life forms, like mushrooms. Höller also explores the idea of play and discovery, installing amusement park slides in the gallery space or building structures that can be entered into or merely contemplated, whether soft inflatable tents or large plastic spheres.
Carsten Höller has also made film, collaborating with colleagues like Rikrit Tiravanija.