Bed Down with Reindeer at Carsten Hoeller’s Berlin Show at Museum fuer Gegenwart

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BERLIN (AP).- It’s rather stinky and kind of loud, but an exhibit that allows visitors to bed down with 24 golden canaries and a dozen reindeer is one of the most popular ever at a Berlin museum. While the goal of the unusual installation is to acquaint the public with spiritual Hinduism, the gallery says the combination of reindeer and the approaching holidays has many visitors thinking just one thing: Christmas. Even though the connection to the holidays may have been unintended, the impulse to use one’s own culture to interpret the customs of others is part of what artist Carsten Hoeller wants to expose, curator Dorothee Brill said. “That irony has to do with our need for fixed points of reference,” she said. The exhibition, called “Soma” — which also includes a patch of giant mushroom sculptures — is named for the legend of a hallucinogenic drink purportedly used 5,000 years ago in Hindi religious ceremonies and believed to be the magical elixir of the gods. Beginn