Inspired by Mr Summers’ post I decided to visit Carsten Höller’s exhibit. We entered from the river side and were greeted by a rather large queue for what I thought was the cloakroom.
But it turned out it was for the slides.
We were told that you had to queue here to get a ticket with a time on, which would be your time to slide.
For twenty past two on a Monday there was quite a lot of excited people, although there was an anxious emo girl behind us who wished she’d worn trousers.
When given the choice, it seems that the English would prefer to queue on a gentle slope rather than steps. Which I thought rather sensible.
Five minutes into our queuing we were informed that the next time slot for the 3rd floor slide was 5pm, too late for us, and the 5th floor slide was already shut.
I didn’t want it to be a wasted trip so I decided to investigate the front of the queue.
A lovely, if not understated, designated queuing area that seemed to split near the front depending on what slide you wanted. Although I’m not sure on this. It was a bit confusing and I would have liked to have seen separate queues for separate slides.
The 1st floor slides were non ticket affairs as, to be fair, they were rubbish in comparison.
Travelling up a few floors I discovered another slide near the back of the building. It was another 3rd floor slide with a very long queue.
There was a gentleman overseeing the queue, who I had to stand in front of to take the above picture.
I apologised for the intrusion and he informed me of how bored he was.
“I’m so bored,” he said.
“Why don’t you have a quick go on the slide to cheer yourself up?”
He did not look impressed and bragged “We can go on them whenever we want, its just I don’t think that it’s art. It’s just an amusement ride.”
However I was not interested in his opinion on what made something art and instead garnered important information for we queuing enthusiasts.
According to this fellow, 42,000 people came to the Tate at the weekend to see the exhibit, and that the queue for the slides was so long that it went through the main doors and outside. Also, if you want to guarantee a ride on one of the larger slides, it’s best to make sure that you’re already queuing before two on a weekday, and before midday at the weekend.
While chatting to him, an announcement came over his radio to say that all tickets had now been given out. This was exactly at quarter to three.
On the fifth floor I found a very small queue for the largest of the slides.
On closer inspection it turned out out that the queue was being turned away for not having tickets and it was all getting rather heated. The lady in the green dress was quite pissed off because she had been “waiting for like five minutes to go on this slide and there should have been some sign to say that it was ticket only.”
The man in charge told them they had to queue downstairs for tickets like everyone else, but he didn’t tell them that the tickets had already run out.
Whenever there’s a new exhibit at the Tate there’s always debate as to whether the artist has made good use of the vast amount of space. In this case, I’d say yes, as Mr Summers’ beautifully expressed in his post with his Donnie Darko analogy, the queues themselves are a lovely extension of the slides and it’s rather warming to see one British institution inside another.