The New Museum presents the first New York survey of the work of Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist (b.1962). Over the past thirty years, Rist has achieved international renown as a pioneer of video art and multimedia installations. Her mesmerizing works envelop viewers in sensual, vibrantly colored kaleidoscopic projections that fuse the natural world with the technological sublime. Referring to her art as a “glorification of the wonder of evolution,” Rist maintains a deep sense of curiosity that pervades her explorations of physical and psychological experiences. Her works bring viewers into unexpected, all-consuming encounters with the textures, forms, and functions of the living universe around us.
Occupying the three main floors of the New Museum, Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forest is the most comprehensive presentation of Rist’s work in New York to date. It includes work spanning the artist’s entire career, from her early single-channel videos of the 1980s, which explore the representation of the female body in popular culture, to her recent expansive video installations, which transform architectural spaces into massive dreamlike environments enhanced by hypnotic musical scores. Featuring a new installation created specifically for this presentation, the exhibition also reveals connections between the development of Rist’s art and the evolution of contemporary technologies. Ranging from the television monitor to the cinema screen, and from the intimacy of the smartphone to the communal experience of immersive images and soundscapes, this survey charts the ways in which Rist’s work fuses the biological with the electronic in the ecstasy of communication.
On view from October 26, 2016 through January 15, 2017, Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forest is curated by Massimiliano Gioni, Edlis Neeson Artistic Director; Margot Norton, Associate Curator; and Helga Christoffersen, Assistant Curator. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue copublished by the New Museum and Phaidon Press Limited.
Pipilotti Rist was born on June 21, 1962 in Rheintal, Switzerland. She likes red beets a lot. Her focus is video/audio installations because there is room in them for everything (painting, technology, language, music, movement, lousy, flowing pictures, poetry, commotion, premonition of death, sex and friendliness) – like in a compact handbag. Her opinon is: Arts task is to contribute to evolution, to encourage the mind, to guarantee a detached view of social changes, to conjure up positive energies, to create sensuousness, to reconcile reason and instinct, to research possibilities and to destroy clichés and prejudices.
Rist’s works have been exhibited widely at museums and festivals throughout Europe, Japan and the US, including the biennials in Sao Paulo, Venice, Istanbul, the Caribbean and Santa Fe. In 2000 the Public Art fund NY commission Open My Glade, was shown on the screen in Times Square. Pipilotti Rist’s multimedia video works such as, I’m Not The Girl Who Misses Much (1986)‚Yoghurt on Skin, Velvet on TV (1995)‚ Sip My Ocean (1996), and Remake of the Weekend (1998), blur the boundaries between visual art and popular culture and explore the unfamiliar in the everyday. Her lush, seductive images recruit the idiom of commercial advertising and music videos to create a highly individual artistic language informed by her past in a music band and as a set designer.
Recent solo presentations of her work include À la belle étoile, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2007); Gravity Be My Friend, Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall (2007); YuYu, MIMOCA Marugame Genichiro-Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art (2008); Pour Your Body Out (7354 Cubic Metres), MoMA, New York (2008 – 2009); and Elixir: the Video Organism of Pipilotti Rist, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2009), which traveled to KIASMA Museum for Contemporary Art, Helsinki; Paço das Artes and MIS Museu da Imagem e do Som, Sao Paulo (2009). The Museum Langmatt, Schliessen Sie mir das Kleid, Danke! (curated by Rudolf Velhagen), Baden, Switzerland (2010) and the Fundació Joan Miró & Centre Cultura Caixa Girona Fontana d’Or, Pipilotti Rist. Partit amistós – sentiments electrónics (curated by Martina Millà), Barcelona / Girona, Spain (2010). She was awarded the Joan Mirò Prize in 2009 for her unique creative activity and her outstanding contribution to the current artistic scene. In 2009 she released her first feature film entitled Pepperminta, the story of an “anarchist of the imagination” who lives according to her own rules. The film was screened at film festivals and theaters around the world.