I approach Anish Kapoor’s “Orbit”. I look up. “Are you scared now Jack?” asks Emily. “No”, I lie whilst walking even more slowly towards the art monument. I then proceed to sigh audibly, I was full of courage before. Not since seeing the size of the thing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not scared of heights. It’s not that at all. Far from it in fact. No; it’s more the fact I’m scared of falling. Falling can hurt. Especially when, given the fact, you’re traversing down at a high speed in metal tubing. Thinking about this I sigh again, this time gaining looks from passers-by.
The slide itself is actually a separate art piece made by Carsten Holler. Carsten Holler is an artist who is renowned for putting his audience in testing situations, almost as if we were his participants in an experiment that no one knows he is conducting, masquerading as an art project. However, the ideology is only below fifty per cent of the fun. The real fun comes in the experience that Carsten is trying to project onto us. The whole wait in the line brought a fear into people, often reminiscent of your wait for a rollercoaster or waterslide. The main difference between that queue and this wait in the queue is the serious threat that this isn’t those things. That makes the whole thing have a seriousness; almost that there is a sudden realisation that this is art. Art is serious. This slide seems serious. And therefore I seriously thought I was in danger. At least till I was halfway through the slide.
When I went down the slide a coarse excessive expulsion of the f-word commenced. A milestone that I never thought I would reach in conjunction to art participation. As I proceeded at high-speed, halfway through the tube began a feeling of accomplishment. Silly I know, in hindsight, but in that slide ride I overcame fear albeit a fear produced by a tall imposing structure only thirty minutes ago. I came out slightly relieved. I was all in one piece. “I really enjoyed that”, I announced punching the air.
I looked over to my sister.
She looked less happy. Did you enjoy that I asked? “No I did not”, she responded. I guess
it’s not for everyone.
By Jack Florish