It's Decision time at Hayward Gallery!

Dovile Sunday 29th March, 2020

I'm not a woman of decisions. Hate it. Simply because you never know if they have been a mistake. 

I had quite a few choices to make at the Hayward Gallery without knowing the consequences in advance. That’s life. 

The entrance to Carsten Höller’s instalation Decision - quite an impressive one. It is journey through the darkness. Just like decision-making process.

Pill Clock, a ceiling-mounted timepiece that will drop over one million pills onto the gallery floor during the course of the exhibition, poses a different kind of conundrum for visitors: the installation includes a drinking fountain for those who decide to take one of the pills (I’m still waiting for its unknown effects).

Giant revolving psychedelic mushrooms reminded me of Alice in Wonderland.

Brace yourself for a cues and you can see the world upside-down or experience uncanny bodily sensations and soar above London’s traffic in a flying machine.

Two robotically-engineered beds that roam the galleries in slow motion and which can be booked for an exclusive overnight stay for £300. How is that for romantic night? Sleeping among ghostly and cold Hayward Gallery walls.

One thing I've learned – never come to the conclusion too quick, think twice and ask for advice (I've almost left at the very beginning of my visit thinking that the exit door is part of exhibition. Oh contemporary art!). 

Throughout the exhibition, recurring motifs of doubles, twins, forking paths and mirrored reflections lead visitors to question how they go about choosing between things that on the surface, at least, seem almost identical. The exhibition reaches its climax by confronting us with a final choice: exiting via stairs and doors as per usual or descending via one of two Isomeric Slides. Built onto the gallery’s exterior wall, these sinuous slides constitute a graceful sculptural installation whilst at the same time, as the artist notes, the work is a device for ‘experiencing an emotional state that is a unique condition somewhere between delight and madness.

It’s your decision to look at Höller’s  work as children’s playground or search for hidden depths and meanings of every detail. Are you visiting? Make a decision.

Decisions is at the Hayward Gallery until 6 September, 2015. Tickets are £15 adults, £13 seniors, £10 for 12-18s. I: www.southbankcentre.co.uk

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