Shawinigan, Quebec

Carsten Höller

Shawinigan Space

I ALWAYS SAY THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT YOU SAY was the apt greeting at Carsten Höller’s recent exhibition “One, Some, Many” at Shawinigan Space, an enormous former aluminum smelting factory that served as a summer outpost of the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. The phrase is repeated textually and orally—as an English subtitle and spoken Japanese—by a pair of identical Japanese women in Höller’s Tokyo Twins, 2005–2007. The two talking heads appear on monitors that here faced one another, sentinel-like, across the gallery entrance. Recalling Bruce Nauman’s absurdly reductive enunciations in his video Thank You, 1992, Höller’s work introduced themes—including the questioning of cultural assumptions about language, entertainment, and the centered self—that ran throughout the show.

Höller’s The Belgian Problem, 2007, consisted of two enormous aviaries situated, like the twins, opposite one

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