Have you been on Carston Holler’s slide Installation at the Tate Modern yet?
Today, Brian Weaver and I experienced ‘voluptious panic on an otherwise lucid mind’ as we hurtled our way rapidly through the air of the Tate’s turbine hall. I think Holler’s installation is brilliant. The notion of art as entertainment is not a new one but art as indulgent FUN is new and great!
Holler plans is to install more slides around the city, allowing city workers to enjoy a little bit of play in an otherwise monotonous day. As you slide, there’s a moment of panic combined with delight that lifts your thinking beyond the everyday to… well... a temporary natural high. For a moment, you’re not in control of your life which is both terrifying and exciting.
Is there any gospel in Holler’s work? Perhaps there is. The notion of giving over control is thoroughly Christian, the question of course being to whom we give that control over to.
The desire for a temporary high exposes our need for better things. We all look for the next thrill in life. Brian and I found ourselves wanting to go back for a second shot but realising we would never find total satisfaction after the first ride. We’d want the next slide to be bigger, faster, wanting more delight, wanting more panic. This thirst for better experiences echoes our need for total satisfaction - a longing that echoes in the return of Christ and the hope for total satisfaction in heaven.
We realised that the temporary high helps us understand our need for complete enjoyment. It makes us cry, ‘Come, Lord Jesus’ whilst in the meantime, we’re on side with Holler, thinking we all need a little more play in our lives until that great day comes.
Go have a play.