Somagabel (Soma fork), 2011


Cutlery made of antlers of rein

0.79 x 7.87 x 0.79 in

2.0 x 20.0 x 2.0 cm

Edition of 100

With a signed and numbered certificate

PRICE: $522

    About The Work

    Botany and zoology count among the main topics of the work of Carsten Höller. The German artist who was born 1961 in Brussels became famous in 1997 when he in collaboration with Rosemarie Trockel presented living pigs in a house at documenta X. Höller studied agronomics in Kiel and obtained his doctorate as well as habilitated on the subject of plant pathology. Even at this point of his career he used scientific test set-ups in order to create artistic works. Since then his often space-filling installations operate at the point of intersection of art and biology: In 2000 for instance he let monumental mushrooms grow upside down from a ceiling. In his work Höller questions positivism and objectivity of natural science and aims to show that the scientific foundations reset upon similar subjective modes of perception like art. For “Texte zur Kunst” Carsten Höller conceived “Somagabel (Soma Fork)”, a fork-like object which is related to his last solo show at Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin entitled “Soma”. For this occasion, the artist created a double-blind study by dividing the historical hall of the museum in two symmetrical parts. A footbridge ran through the space while compounds to the left and the right housed several reindeer. Caged Mice, flies and canaries functioned as further protagonists of the setting. The initial point for this tableau vivant lay in the quest of the origin of Soma, a mythical drink of Indogermanic peoples which is said to have an ecstatic effect due to a substance found in fly agarics. The reindeer in Höller’s installation were fed with these mushrooms they also eat in the wild. The question if their behaviour was actually affected by their psychoactive food had to be answered by the visitors of the show themselves although the scene looked like a laboratory. The shafts of the forks of Höller’s edition for “Texte zur Kunst” consist of antlers which fell off after the mating season of the animals and therefore differ with each piece. As the hallucinogen could be stored in the horns of the deer the owner of the work can participate in the experiment as well as the research of the consciousness-expanding promise of Soma.

    Courtesy of TEXTE ZUR KUNST

    About Carsten Höller

    From The Magazine

    • Texte zur Kunst Edition of 100 + 20 A.P.
    • Ships in 10 to 14 business days from Germany.
    • This work is final sale and not eligible for return.
    • Questions about this work?
    • Interested in other works by this artist or other artists? We will source them for you.
    • Want to pay in installments?

    Contact an Artspace Advisor


    a treasure trove of fine art from the world's most renowned artists, galleries, museums and cultural institutions. We offer exclusive works you can't find anywhere else.


    through exclusive content featuring art news, collecting guides, and interviews with artists, dealers, collectors, curators and influencers.


    authentic artworks from across the globe. Collecting with us means you're helping to sustain creative culture and supporting organizations that are making the world a better place.


    with our art advisors for buying advice or to help you find the art that's perfect for you. We have the resources to find works that suit your needs.


    Artspace offers you authentic, exclusive works from world-renowned artists, galleries, museums and cultural institutions. Collecting with us helps support creative culture while bringing you art news, interviews and access to global art resources.