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| television child | FACT

July 29, 2008
Pipilotti Rist at FACT, the Foundation for Art & Creative Technology , Liverpool.
June 27 – August 31

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Pipilotti Rist is an icon in the world of pop-culture best known for her dream-like video installations and colour-drenched imagery. Probing both physical and psychological dimensions her exploration of the body, our senses, rituals and taboos are at once poetical, intimate and playfully entertaining. Famed for her stunning sculptural video installations that are often presented in unusual locations, the exhibition will traverse the natural to the industrial world.

At FACT , ‘Gravity, Be My Friend’ a large-scale audiovisual installation, Rist will give UK audiences her individual interpretation of self-invention through a mix of fantasy and humor. In the one-minute film segments, a woman – the artist– presses her face hard against the surface of the screen with the movement in slow-motion, smearing her makeup, looking as though she is trying to escape through it.

Pipilotti Rist is a video artist who aims for an audience who are not big fans of conventional art, but who have, as she puts it, an ordinary ‘television education’. She has said of herself: ‘I’m a typical television child. I know the feeling of not being able to distinguish between what I experienced this afternoon in the woods and what I experienced afterwards on television.’

Since the late 1980s, Pipilotti Rist has produced both large-scale, multi-channel video projections and more intimate video pieces. The hypnotic, often enchanting worlds she creates are inflected by haunting sound tracks and erratic pacing and feature emblematic female subjects who appear at once coquettish and rebellious. A young woman in a little black dress creates a frenzied spectacle in an early work, I’m Not the Girl Who Misses Much (1986). In Ever is Over All (1997), a modern-day fable, a woman strolls down the street, swinging a large flower that strikes parked cars and, to her delight, shatters their windows. In Sip My Ocean (1996), the onset of disillusionment in love darkens an aquatic, utopian world. The video is projected in duplicate as mirrored reflections on two adjoining walls, with the corner between them an immobile seam around which psychedelic configurations radiate and swirl. A bikini-clad woman is seen intermittently frolicking underwater, her obvious pleasure and sense of self-containment is transmitted to the viewer as part of a mesmerizing narrative about longing, desire, and dreams of fulfillment. Choreographed to a sound track of the artist alternatively crooning and hysterically shrieking Chris Isaak’s song “Wicked Game,” Sip My Ocean disturbs as much as it seduces, leaving one to wonder if there might be trouble in this aquatic paradise. Desire, after all, always demands an “other,” one who may or may not yield to the embrace.

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To make strange the viewing experience, Rist often installs her projections in awkward or unusual spaces—squeezing imagery between doors or the folds of a curtain, for instance, or projecting onto floors. In the kaleidoscopic Atmosphere & Instinct (1998), a childlike woman, clad in a Raggedy Ann–style dress and wig, is seen from a bird’s-eye view and appears through the leafy treetops. Moving in and out of sight, past suburban homes, swimming pools, and lawn chairs, she looks up and waves her arms with the desire to be seen or perhaps to fly away; the work takes on a melancholic tone when that desire promises to be unfulfilled.

Remix Pipilotti
Remix her work and get the chance to see your entry on the BBC Big Screen in Liverpool city centre.
more info…

Watch Pipilotti videos

Be Nice To Me (Flatten 04) 2007

I’m Not The Girl Who Misses Much 1986

One Comment leave one →
  1. Jan Kather permalink
    July 31, 2008 12:32 pm

    What fun to watch Pipilotti Rist’s videos!
    In the video Be Nice to Me (Fatten 04), she looks at times like a gorgeous model, who suddenly morphs into a distorted monster who is quite startling and ugly! I am reminded of Chaucer’s Wife of Bath’s tale of the knight who ends up with an ugly old woman for a wife, but when he gives her the reigns, she turns into a young beauty. I imagine this video will stir some debate about beauty, about vanity, about the female gaze inverted….
    Thank you, Momentemagazine, for bringing this work to our attention!

    (and with any luck, I myself might get a moment to re-contextualize her work for FACT…)

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