I have been tagged by Jezze to play the 666 photo game – the instructions being as follows: “Open the 6th picture folder on your computer, open the 6th photo and blog it. Write something about it. Then tag 6 more people to do the same.”

Carsten Holler's 'Test Site' installation in the turbine hall at Tate Modern

This picture was taken on 26 February 2007 and is part of one of the slides that made up Carsten Höller‘s ‘Test Site’ installation in Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall between October 2006 and April 2007.

From Tate Modern’s website: “For Carsten Höller, the experience of sliding is best summed up in a phrase by the French writer Roger Caillois as a ‘voluptuous panic upon an otherwise lucid mind’. The slides are impressive sculptures in their own right, and you don’t have to hurtle down them to appreciate this artwork. What interests Höller, however, is both the visual spectacle of watching people sliding and the ‘inner spectacle’ experienced by the sliders themselves, the state of simultaneous delight and anxiety that you enter as you descend”.

I remember waiting in the queue to slide down the largest of the 5 slides installed (pictured above, 55.5 metres long with a 26.5 metre drop) behind several children who didn’t seem in the least bit phased about the activity they were about to participate in. I, on the other hand, was all nervous anticipation and jittery butterflies. I recall that just before sliding one had to climb onto and partially into a white canvas construction – half mat, half bag – a kind of straight-jacket for our feet (I guess to ensure that they didn’t splay about during the rapid spiralling descent, causing damage to both the sliders and the sculptures). This ‘straight-jacket’ coupled with the cold, shining steel of the slides and the dwarfing effect of the monumental Turbine Hall made me feel a bit like just another ‘lab human’ being used in some great experiment. But the sliding was positively exhilarating… and over way too soon!

The Turbine Hall is a magnificent space and there have been some incredible projects installed there – in particular I have very fond (and awestruck) memories of Olafur Eliasson’s ‘The Weather Project’ and Anish Kapoor’s ‘Marsyas’.

More photos of Carsten Höller’s ‘Test Site’ can be found on his website, here.

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And my (no obligation) tags go out to:

Quail by Mail

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* I’m pretty sure all those sixes are simply a coincidence, and that ‘the beast’ has nothing to do with this tagging business…