Carsten Höller (born Brussels 1961), a trained entomologist with a doctorate in phytopathology, lives and works in Stockholm. Over the last twenty years he has been producing resolutely experimental art that seeks to cast doubt on our relationship with the world. His works question the élitist nature of scientific language; his ideas – expressed in installations, lectures or event – derive from the theories of natural evolution, and call for behavioural change. He looks to Richard Dawkins’ theory about any living organism being blindly programmed by its genes, whose dominant quality is survival and replication through time and space – along with merciless egoism. Which means that universal love and well-being are meaningless concepts when it comes to evolution.
Yet Höller refuses to let himself be boxed up in an ‘art and science’ duality which to him makes no sense; he recalls, quite simply, that he has been many other things. His work blends all his parallel experiments with a view to exchanging roles and identities – as when he installed a sports pitch at the Berlin Kunstwerke in 1999, to encourage adults to behave like children and start up their own ball games. […]