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Four months change of name and architecture

Press Release   •   Apr 24, 2017 08:30 BST

For the summer’s major exhibition event, the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter will change its name to Henie Onstad Sanatorium, while characteristic installations will transform the building’s architecture.

-The Belgian artist Carsten Höller (born 1961) is one of the world's most renowned contemporary artists. Over the past 20 years he has secured his status as one of the world's most distinctive, playful and enigmatic artists. We look forward to presenting his work for the first time in Norway, says Director Tone Hansen.

You are welcome to attend the press viewing of the Henie Onstad Sanatorium on Thursday, 11 May, at 10 am. Register by email to gv@hok.no

To support the central idea behind Höller's exhibition, the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter will change its name to Henie Onstad Sanatorium during the exhibition period. In addition to the temporary name change, the building’s architecture will also be reworked through a series of experimental installations, presenting visitors with a unique set of experiences.

-A slide curves from the outside and into the building, while distinctive sculptures invite you to float, move through complete darkness, and fly. The exhibition also includes two robotically-engineered beds, which offer visitors a unique opportunity to spend the night in the exhibition itself. Several of these pieces are central to Höller's artwork, and taken as a whole they constitute the Henie Onstad Sanatorium, explains Hansen.

Re-experience the sanatorium

In the late 1800s and early 1900s there were several sanatoriums in the vicinity of Høvikodden. Built to cure various diseases, sanatoriums were often situated in beautiful scenery, close to the forest and the sea, where the air was healthy. While some were designed to cure tuberculosis, other, older sanatoriums were intended to provide recreation and relaxation, more in line with what we might associate today with a spa visit.

-Along the lines of these ideas, and based on the Henie Onstad's unique location, Höller got the idea for the exhibition's title and concept the first time he visited us here at Høvikodden. Now the public are invited to re-experience a sanatorium through the transformative power of art, Tone Hansen explains.

Inspired by research and science

Carsten Höller is inspired by research and experiments from the history of science, and uses these techniques to create tools, architecture and installations, aiming to present audiences with unique physical and psychological experiences.

-An important objective is to provoke uncertainty, a feeling of disorientation and doubt; a state of mind that Höller himself considers highly productive. Several of his works draw inspiration from social spaces other than museums, such as amusement parks, zoos or playgrounds. But what Höller is seeking through his work is something very different from our usual experiences of such spaces, says curator Caroline Ugelstad.

Höller's art can be seen as a set of proposals for radically different ways of living and of being in the world, as expressed in his characteristic architectural alterations, moving beds, walls of flashing lights, or his famous slide installations.

-Henie Onstad Sanatorium promises a wide variety of unique experiences, and audiences may not emerge exactly the same as they were when they entered, concludes Tone Hansen.

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About Carsten Höller

Carsten Höller uses his training as a scientist in his work as an artist, concentrating particularly on the nature of human relationships.

Born in Brussels in 1961, he now lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden and Biriwa, Ghana. His major installations include Test Site, a series of giant slides for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall (2006), Amusement Park - an installation of full-size funfair rides turning and moving at very slow speed at MASS MoCA, North Adams, USA (2006), Flying Machine (1996), a work which hoists the viewer through the air, Upside-Down Goggles, an experiment with goggles which modify vision, and the famous The Double Club (2008-2009) in London, which opened in November 2008 and closed in July 2009, took the form of a bar, restaurant and nightclub designed to create a dialogue between Congolese and Western culture.

His Revolving Hotel Room, 2008, a rotating art installation that becomes a fully operational hotel room at night, was shown as part of theanyspacewhatever exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in 2009. For his 2015 exhibition Decision at the Hayward Gallery, he turned the whole building into an experimental parcours with two entrances and four exits, two of them slides.

His works have been shown internationally over the last two decades, including solo exhibitions at Fondazione Prada, Milan (2000), the ICA Boston (2003), Musée d'Art Contemporain, Marseille (2004), Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2008), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2010), Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin (2011), New Museum, New York (2011) Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (TBA21), Vienna (2014), and most recently Doubt at Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan (2016).

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Summary:

  • Institution: Henie Onstad Kunstsenter
  • Artist: Carsten Höller
  • Title: Carsten Höller: Henie Onstad Sanatorium
  • Curator: Caroline Ugelstad
  • Press opening: Thursday, 11 May, at 10 am
  • Exhibition opening: Thursday, 11 May at 6 pm
  • Exhibition period: 12 May – 10 September 2017
  • Address: Sonja Henies vei 31, 1311 Høvikodden, Norway
  • Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday: 11 am to 5 pm
  • Entrance: NOK 150 / 100 (student) / under 18s free of charge
  • Catalogue: Henie Onstad Sanatorium will be published as a catalogue by the Walther König publishing house in summer of 2017
  • HOK Lab: Workshops and activities for children of all ages throughout the centre’s opening hours
  • Booking of overnight accommodation: via Airbnb or hok.no
  • More info: See hok.no. The website will redirect to the website henieonstadsanatorium.no during the period 12 May to 10 September

HOK is a leading venue for 20th century and contemporary art, as well as music and experimental sound works. The Art Centre is located in a large sculpture park by the fjord, about 15 minutes drive from Oslo.

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