Carsten Höller Is Building a Slide in the New Museum!

10/10/2011 8:57 AM |

Inside one of Carsten Höllers slides from Test Site (2006) in the Tates Turbine Hall.
  • Inside one of Carsten Höller’s slides from “Test Site” (2006) in the Tate’s Turbine Hall.

You can imagine how disappointed we were when we first heard that German conceptual artist Carsten Höller‘s forthcoming retrospective (October 26-January 15) at the New Museum was not going to include any of the artist’s much-loved metal slides. But last week Höller and the NuMu made every art nerd’s inner child leap with joy by announcing that there will in fact be slides installed in the stacked boxes on Bowery.

Höllers slides from Test Site (2006) in the Tates Turbine Hall.
  • Höller’s slides from “Test Site” (2006) in the Tate’s Turbine Hall.

The Times‘ Carol Vogel writes that, unlike Höller’s previous slide installations in cities including Berlin, Milan, London and São Paolo the slide at the New Museum will be made of plastic—transparent plastic no less. It will take visitors from the museum’s fourth floor down to its second, measuring a total height of 40 feet, and extending a full 102 feet. Construction on the slide installation is due to start this week.

NuMu director Lisa Phillips tells the Times:

Installing it involves removing portions of the floor and ceilings. And since the slide can’t go straight through the center of the building because of structural issues, it will take twists and turns.

It will also involve quite a production for museum staff, who will offer visitors helmets and elbow pads, while lockers will allow would-be slide-riders to stash their stuff.

But enough about the how and the what, here’s Höller explaining—on the occasion of a two-slide installation in Brisbane last year—why a slide is “like a happiness-producing machine.”