Vogel Pilz Mathematik (Bird Mushroom Mathematics)
For this year!s Gallery Weekend Berlin, Esther Schipper shows new works by Carsten Höller in the artist!s fifth solo exhibition at the gallery.
A large, matt-grey mobile hangs from the ceiling of the anterior exhibition space. Seven round cages hang from the mobile, each of which contains a live canary. The room is painted magenta. The individual elements of the mobile are arranged according to the spatial transposition of a simple mathematical formula: the continual halving of the geometric form of the square, from which it begins. In 2007, Carsten Höller realised The Belgian Problem in Shawinigan, Quebec – large aviaries full of live starlings upon which he experimented using acoustics and communication. In the current exhibition, visitors are confronted with the varying dialects of different kinds of canaries. The concept of “floating” is realised formally by the mobile, and further strengthened through the birds sitting in the cages. It is an arrangement “for measuring the dimension of song”.
The mathematical formula of doubling and halving is also taken up by Höller in the gallery!s adjoining room, where a series of mushroom vitrines are on view. These are Doppelpilze (Double mushrooms) – halved and newly put together moulds of different kinds of mushrooms, always combined with one half of a toadstool. Some of the mushrooms are edible, others not.
Square paintings display the formula!s starting point, from which the mobile was developed. In this context, the room!s colourful environs intervene powerfully in the experience.
The artist has also turned the gallery!s office into an exhibition room. A nine-part print series with golden canary motifs is shown on one of the office walls, which has been painted in pale mint. This work was realised by Carsten Höller together with Niels Borch Jensen and can now be seen for the first time in the context of an exhibition. Carsten Höller lives and works in Stockholm. Most recently, he realised the now legendary The Double Club (with Fondazione Prada) in the London borough of Islington. This year, alongside other projects, he is taking part in Daniel Birnbaum!s exhibition “Making Worlds” as part of the 53rd Venice Biennale.