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Carsten Höller’s Double Club

I WENT TO A BAR, restaurant, and dance club where the Congo meets the West. And then, a few weeks later, I went to a bar, restaurant, and dance club where the West meets the Congo. Both were located at 7 Torrens Street, a tiny alley in East London, so one could say they were the same place. But Carsten Höller’s Double Club, a Fondazione Prada production that opened last November and will close later this year, emphasizes ambivalence and puzzling duplications to such an extent that this sameness becomes less and less evident over time. Already, at the entrance to the large bar area, you have to decide which “slice” to enter—one of the angled “African” sections, furnished with bright plastic chairs and a wooden bar (designed with Bellou Luvuadio Bengo), or a slicker “European” section with lots of neon and shiny metal (designed with Reed Kram and Clemens Weisshaar). In fact, the entire space

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