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Enel Contemporanea Opens Carsten Holler. Double Carousel with Zollner Stripes

Enel Contemporanea is in favour of the MACRO’s exhibition schedule in the autumn with one of the most important artists today: Carsten Höller, the winner of the 2011 Enel Contemporanea Award.

Enel Contemporanea 2011. Carsten Höller, “Double Carousel with Zöllner Stripes,” rendering MACRO, Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome Courtesy: Enel Contemporanea and the artist

His work Double Carousel with Zöllner Stripes will be on view and free to public from 2nd December 2011 to 26th February 2012 at the MACRO, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome.

Enel Contemporanea Award 2011 is the prize promoted by Enel within its “Enel Contemporanea” programme, which calls for the annual production of an original artwork on the theme of energy by international artists (

In Double Carousel with Zöllner Stripes the public will be also able to interact with two moving merry-go-rounds created by the artist. Turning slowly and in opposite directions, the merry-go-rounds allow the public to get on and off easily, as if they were enormous mills or grindstones, where the people, sitting on top, come closer together and move further apart in constant rotation. Around the merry-go-rounds, criss-crossing lines (the “Zöllner Stripes”) create a destabilizing effect, deforming spatial perception to provoke a slowed-down vision of reality.

Born in Brussels in 1961 (to German parents), Carsten Höller graduated in agricultural sciences with a specialization in plant pathology and a Masters’ thesis on olfactory communication between insects, uses art as a cognitive tool in probing objective reality and perception. Disorientation is a key feature in most of his works from the rotating mushrooms suspended from the ceiling of the Prada Foundation in 2000 to the steel Test Site slides in Turbine Hall at London’s Tate Modern in 2006, as part of the Unilever Series, to his most recent exhibition, Soma, at the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum of Contemporary Art in Berlin. Carsten Höller has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions in such prestigious international institutions as the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam and the Bregenz Kunsthaus. He represented Sweden at the Venice Biennial 51st International Art Exhibition (with Miriam Bäckström) and has participated in numerous editions of Documenta and the São Paolo Biennial. The New Museum in New York is currently featuring his solo show entitled Carsten Höller: Experience. He lives and works in Stockholm.

The 2011 winning artwork was selected by the international jury, which met on the 2nd of June in Venice at the 54th International Art Exhibition, of which Enel was the main sponsor. The jury chose the laureate among 3 internationally recognised artists—Carsten Höller (Germany), Bruce Mau (Canada) and Paola Pivi (Italy) – invited to participate in the competition by the Artistic Director of the Award, Francesco Bonami.

The jury, presided by Gianluca Comin, Enel’s Group Director of External Relations, was made up of representatives of some of the most prestigious international arts institutions: Joseph Backstein (Curator of the Moscow Art Biennial), Luca Massimo Barbero (Associate Curator Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice), Iwona Blazwick (Director of the Whitechapel Gallery, London), Massimiliano Gioni (Artistic Director of the Nicola Trussardi Foundation, Milan), Ivo Mesquita (Chief Curator of the Sao Paolo National Gallery), Jack Persekian (Director of the Al-Ma’mal Foundation for Contemporary Art, Jerusalem).

For the past number of years, Enel has focused on contemporary art due to its ability to express and transmit values of innovation, attention to the environment and an openness to the world. Today, these values constitute the three fundamental axes pertaining to the creation of a sustainable future and also reflect the evolution of a company like Enel.

Previous Enel Contemporanea editions have featured the works of eight international artists: in 2010 the Dutch duo Bik Van der Pol’s “Butterfly House” inaugurated the new MACRO wing by Odile Decq. Enel Contemporanea previously presented the American artist Doug Aitken and Jeffrey Inaba, the French-Brasilian assume vivid astro focus, the Italian A12 group and Patrick Tuttofuoco, the Danish Jeppe Hein and the British Angela Bulloch.

MACRO, Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome

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