Those who make the museums


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Those who make the museums

Fighting gloves, acrylic, lorrey, merchandise from the museums
2015
Following the visit to the Hayward and Serpentine Galleries. The Belgian artist Carsten Höller (1961)is exhibiting at the Hayward Gallery. The exhibition is called ‘Decision’, an understandable title when you realise it is all about interactive work. The visitor is part of his work and must therefore do things, get moving, walking around in the dark, groping for a pathway, floating, gliding, putting glasses on, feeling whether your nose has got bigger and do more things that you are not used to. We come straight into a darkened maze of large corrugated metal tubes. You go round corners and run up slopes. It is best to stop before we get back to a bright room on the bottom floor. There are the Spinning Mushrooms. Very large fly agarics rotating on a frame. That is, you have to propel it yourself. Upstairs we stand in a queue to try a pair of upside down glasses. It is a bit tricky with our own glasses but we can see that it works. Mirrors hanging on the walls make the room look twice as big. There are no doors and everything runs together via the stairwell. It looks like a fairground. Kids screaming and the echoes of many people talking. You do not expect this in a gallery. A man is explaining next to a row of helmets and belted jackets. They are for the visitors so that they can enter the airplane outside. From his explanation, I understand that the outfit  is somewhere between para-gliding and wall climbing. Beneath the room where you can fly from, the light is dimmed. We are back to waiting in a queue, this time for 3D glasses. In another area where we end up is a device that you hold against your arm, then you feel your nose. Your nose should feel bigger. There are two metal gates, fences, as you sometimes see in outdoor swimming pools. An attendant explains that there are two slides to the outside, running into a double helix along the building. It is closed because of the rain. We come back outside by an alternative exit through a wall with illuminated circles. On the way in a double-decker bus, we see a man with an Arsenal T shirt in the crowds. He has blood on his face. Sport and interaction. We walk through Hyde Park, where the Serpentine Galleries are located. Inside are the hyper-realistic images by the American artist Duane Hanson (1925-1996). We see people, Americans standing too still to be real. There is also little difference with reality. A woman sits on display with a hat selling second-hand things. She is reading a newspaper. A man sits drooped on a box with a cardboard sign in his hand. ”Will work for food” Up close you see the blemishes on the skin of his face. At one point I stand staring at people dressed in more contemporary clothing. They are behind a man with a trolley. I am peering so closely at the trolley and his grumpy face that I jump when people move behind it. They are visitors to the museum. Of course you can very well realise the confrontation with real people in an interactive game. Let us as visitors visualise the confrontation with four boxing gloves, the artist, the collector, the fund and the curator. Whose is a straight right or left hook?
Photo 2:Arie with Carsten Höller Upside down goggles Hayward Gallery London
Photo 3: Duane Hanson Serpentine Gallery London