Carsten Höller: Y
Exhibtion, Centro Botín, Santander, Spain.
Centro Botín presents a large-scale monographic exhibition of Carsten Höller, offering a perspective on the last decade of the internationally acclaimed German artist’s work.
Fourteen pieces, a majority of which have been produced for this exhibition, are presented on the second floor of Centro Botín's new Renzo Piano-designed building. Using the architecture of the space as its cue to define the structure of the show, Carsten Höller has chosen to echo the symmetry of an open space with two very large bay windows at each end, and to create two separate routes, each ending with a dramatic view of the city and the bay of Santander.
This idea of a split experience of the exhibition is quite emblematic of Höller’s ongoing investigation of the notion of double or duplicate, which also implies the obligation to choose. From the entrance, the visitor has to decide which path to follow, as the gateway to the exhibition is the famous Y, a work that premiered at the Venice Biennial in 2003. The sculpture, a passageway with one entrance and two exits, also lends its title to the exhibition: read as a sign of bifurcation, Y hints at the fact one needs to make choices in order to build one’s own experience of the exhibition. Furthermore, the letter Y, also known in Greek as “Upsilon”, has been referred to as Pythagoras letter, since the Greek philosopher and mathematician used it as an emblem of the path of virtue or vice. The same letter is also used in various scientific fields as a symbol, and as such heralds the scientific and experimental nature of the artistic research carried out by Höller throughout his career.
Carsten Höller will also direct a workshop at Villa Iris with an international group of 15 young artists – an ongoing programme Fundación Botín initiated over two decades ago.