Courtesy New Museum
Carsten Höller’s work has always challenged the traditional art/viewer relationship. He has exhibited participatory carnival rides and wading pools in galleries. In 2008, he installed a functional hotel room inside the Guggenheim Museum; later that year, he opened a pop-up nightclub in London that introduced partygoers to Congolese food, beer and street art (it also drew a steady stream of celebrity patrons—Mick Jagger, Penelope Cruz and Kate Moss among them). Next Wednesday, the New Museum, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, will open the German artist’s biggest New York exhibition to date. The show offers a wide range of Höller’s work from the past two decades (including light installations, towering sculptures of mushrooms and a mirrored, user-friendly carousel), but the coup de grace is a 102-foot-long, water park–esque plastic slide that will take participants from the museum’s fourth floor down to the second. Ladies, we should probably avoid skirts on this one. October 26, 2011–January 15, 2012; $12; 235 Bowery; 212-219-1222; newmuseum.org.