Last Thursday, my sister, myself and our bestest, oldest family friend, headed off to London for some culture, and some burgers.
They've both just got back from some epic travels (Flo's been adventuring in India, and Ceci's just done a month interrailing round Italy), so we had plenty to catch up on over brunch.
With bellies full of eggs and coffee, we headed across town to the Hayward Gallery on the Southbank to experience the Carsten Holler exhibition, Decision.
We arrived at the Gallery, and immediately were faced with the first decision of the day (or second, after what should we have for brunch..).
You have to decide whether to enter the gallery through door A, or door B.
All three of us are notoriously terrible at decision making, and everyone we have spoken to since is amazed that we are not still there, weighing up the pro's and con's of each option. But decide we did, and off we headed into the unknown.
Both doors lead into a pitch black metal tunnel, which you have to navigate your way through, blindly relying on your hands to survive the various twists and turns.
The tunnels (imagine giant metal vents - like this!), twist up and down through the gallery space. Dark, and noisy (you can hear everyone else moving around you, some ahead or behind in your own tunnel, some above or below in the other), the whole experience is thoroughly disorientating.
We eventually reached the other side, where we were met (once our eyes had adjusted to the light) by a giant rotating mushroom sculpture. Like something out of Alice in Wonderland.
On a similar note, we next stumbled across a huge pool of pills, and whilst there was no 'drink me' label, visitors were encouraged to eat one. (I was too chicken, but I did bring one home with me as a souvenir)
The pills fell into the pile from the ceiling, one every three seconds, all day, every day, for the duration of the exhibition. For Holler, the pile, which grows a little more each day, becomes 'a visual marker of the passage of time'
One of the main attractions of the exhibition is the Two Flying Machines.
Holler intended that the piece would cause embarrassment for the person interacting with the machine, as they are observed swinging round 'like a bag of potatoes' not only by the other people at the exhibition, but also by people on the street, (or in my case, the tourists on an open top bus),
But to be honest, I just found the experience pretty restful. It was like being strung up in a hammock, and rocked gently round in a circle.
Possibly this is the early morning talking, but I totally could have taken a nap up there.
Its a good job we took that moment of calm, because things were about to get very very silly.
The next piece we played with was Holler's Upside Down Goggles.
Designed to make you see the world a little differently, these basically do what they say on the tin.
You put them on, and the whole world is 'flipped-turned upside down'.
It. Was. Weird.
I have never been so sober, yet felt so drunk.
this fills my heart with so much happiness..
The second to last thing we played with was called 'The Pinocchio Effect'
Supposedly, if you hold you nose, whilst stimulating a specific part of your arm, you can make your nose feel bigger or smaller.
Ceci and I didn't really notice any difference, but we did look very silly..
Just when you think there can't be any more fun things, you can chose to leave the exhibition via the slides.
They may look tame, but I can promise you, I screamed all the way down!
After several courses, lots of good chat, and a bottle or so of wine, we realized we'd better head for the train.
After a bit of a sprint, and with moments to spare, we made it to the train. With sore feet, and memory cards full, we chugged off into the night, back to the west county.
Happy Happy Happy