Carsten Höller (b. Brussels, 1961) is a German artist working and living in Stockholm, Sweden, whose recent installations include Test Site, the giant slides at Tate Modern in London (2006-07) as well as Revolving Hotel Room at the Guggenheim Museum in New York (2008).
Höller's artistic practice focuses on methods where the interaction between work and public becomes fundamental. "You could say that the real material I am working with is people’s experience", he has said. His intention is to make the viewer receptive to an individual transformation that occurs the moment one comes into contact with and experiences the artwork.
It is with these precedents in mind that Höller has developed The Double Club project, which originated from his passion for the music of the Congo and his love of Kinshasa. With The Double Club, the artist confirms his belief in art's capacity to subvert reality, as well as his interest into what he calls "influential environments", where duality is favoured against the unilateral. Starting from the idea of creating a place where two very different cultures, Western and Congolese, will interact, and keeping a balance between these two aesthetic polarities, it offers a unique modus operandi.
The project, which is fundamentally experimental in character, challenges the artistic content and its positive contribution to the understanding and dialogue with contemporary expressions of African culture, which is of critical relevance in this moment.
The coexistence of individualised identities that in the club remain faithful to themselves, with the presentation of their sounds, their tastes and their aesthetics, is an invitation by the artist to consider a new history, self-knowledge and knowledge of others, rejecting a centric vision and offering a dual perspective where the Double - West and Congo - is a variant of the perception of the world, no longer the single perspective unique where one predominates over the other. Höller is proposing to use the double concept, based on the model of The Double Club, also outside as a new form of dealing with ones surroundings and decision-making processes.