Pipilotti Rist

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Pipilotti Rist
Pipilotti Rist at Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona
Pipilotti Rist at Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona
Born Elisabeth Rist
(1962-06-21) 21 June 1962 (age 55)
Grabs, Canton of St. Gallen, Switzerland
Nationality Swiss
Education Institute of Applied Arts, Schule für Gestaltung
Known for Video art
Notable work Pepperminta, I'm Not The Girl Who Misses Much, Pickleporno, Ever is Over All
Movement feminism
Awards Joan Miró Prize (2009)
Pink tramway in Geneva, by Pipilotti Rist

Pipilotti Rist (born 21 June 1962 as Elisabeth Rist), is a visual artist who works with video, film, and moving images which are often displayed as projections.

Life and career[edit]

Pipilotti Rist was born Elisabeth Rist in 1962 in Grabs, Sankt Gallen, in Switzerland.[1] Her father is a doctor and her mother is a teacher.[2] Since her childhood she has been nicknamed Pipilotti. The name refers to the novel Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren.

Prior to studying art and film, Rist studied theoretical physics in Vienna for one semester.[3] From 1982 to 1986 Rist studied commercial art, illustration, and photography at the University of Applied Arts Vienna in Vienna. She later studied video at the School of Design (Schule für Gestaltung) in Basel, Switzerland. From 1988 through 1994, she was member of the music band and performance group Les Reines prochaines. In 1997, her work was first featured in the Venice Biennial, where she was awarded the Premio 2000 Prize. From 2002 to 2003, she was invited by Professor Paul McCarthy to teach at UCLA as a visiting faculty member. From Summer 2012 through to Summer 2013, Rist spent a sabbatical in Somerset.[4]

Pipilotti Rist currently lives with her common law partner Balz Roth, with whom she has a son, named Himalaya.

From 2005 to 2009, she worked on her first feature film, Pepperminta.[5]


During her studies Pipilotti Rist began making super 8 films. Her works generally last only a few minutes, and contained alterations in their colors, speed, and sound. Her works generally treat issues related to gender, sexuality, and the human body.

Her colorful and musical works transmit a sense of happiness and simplicity. Rist's work is regarded as feminist by some art critics. Her works are held by many important art collections worldwide.

In I'm Not The Girl Who Misses Much (1986) Rist dances before a camera in a black dress with uncovered breasts. The images are often monochromatic and fuzzy. Rists repeatedly sings "I'm not the girl who misses much," a reference to the first line of the song "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" by the Beatles. As the video approaches its end, the image becomes increasingly blue and fuzzy and the sound stops.[6]

Rist achieved notoriety with Pickelporno (Pimple porno) (1992), a work about the female body and sexual excitation. The fisheye camera moves over the bodies of a couple. The images are charged by intense colors, and are simultaneously strange, sensual, and ambiguous.

Ever is Over All (1997) shows in slow-motion a young woman walks along a city street, smashing the windows of parked cars with a large hammer in the shape of a tropical flower. At one point a police officer greets her. The audio video installation has been purchased by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. This work was later referenced in 2016 by Beyoncé in the film accompanying her album Lemonade.[7]

Rist's nine video segments titled Open My Glade were played once every hour on a screen at Times Square in New York City, a project of the Messages to the Public program, which was founded in 1980.

Pour Your Body Out was a commissioned multimedia installation organized by Klaus Biesenbach and installed in the atrium of the Museum of Modern Art in early 2009. In an interview with Phong Bui published in The Brooklyn Rail, Rist said she chose the atrium for the installation "because it reminds me of a church's interior where you’re constantly reminded that the spirit is good and the body is bad. This spirit goes up in space but the body remains on the ground. This piece is really about bringing those two differences together."[8]



  1. ^ "Pipilotti Rist Biography" (PDF). Luhring Augustine. Retrieved 2010-02-27. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-05-21. Retrieved 2015-03-08. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-12-22. Retrieved 2016-12-21. 
  4. ^ Pipilotti Rist, September 2012 – August 2013 Archived July 7, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. Hauser & Wirth, Somerset.
  5. ^ "Pepperminta Official Site". Retrieved 2010-02-27. 
  6. ^ Holly, Rogers, Sounding the Gallery: Video and the Rise of Art-Music [Oxford University Press, 2013]
  7. ^ "Is Beyoncé's Windshield-Destroying Stroll in Lemonade Based on This '90s Art Film?". Slate.com. Slate. Retrieved 6 May 2016. 
  8. ^ Bui, Phong (January 2009). "In Conversation: Pipilotti Rist with Phong Bui". The Brooklyn Rail. 
  9. ^ "Pipilotti Rist Wins BAZAAR Art 2012's International Artist of the Year Award". Retrieved 2014-11-28. 
  10. ^ "U.S. Art Critics Association Announces Winners of 26th Annual Awards". ArtDaily.org. Retrieved 9 December 2014. 
  11. ^ "Joan Miró Prize: Pipilotti Rist (2009)". Archived from the original on 2010-01-31. Retrieved 2010-02-27. 
  12. ^ "Large St.Galler Culture Award for Manon". Canton of St. Gallen. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  13. ^ "Pipilotti Rist Archive" (PDF). http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/eascfa/feminist_art_base/.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  14. ^ (PDF). http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/eascfa/feminist_art_base/ http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/eascfa/feminist_art_base/archive/cvs/130.pdf.  Missing or empty |title= (help); External link in |publisher= (help)

External links[edit]