21 June 1962
|Education||Institute of Applied Arts, Schule für Gestaltung|
|Known for||Video art|
|Pepperminta, I'm Not The Girl Who Misses Much, Pickleporno, Ever is Over All|
|Awards||Joan Miró Prize (2009)|
Pipilotti Elisabeth Rist (born 21 June 1962) is a Swiss visual artist best known for creating experimental video art and installation art. Her work is often described as surreal, intimate, abstract art, having a preoccupation with the female body. Her artwork is often categorized as feminist art.
Rist's work is known for its multi-sensory qualities, with overlapping projected imagery that is highly saturated with color, paired with sound components that are part of a larger environment with spaces for viewers to rest or lounge. Rist's work often transforms the architecture or environment of a white cube gallery into a more tactile, auditory and visual experience.
Life and career
Pipilotti Rist was born Elisabeth Rist in Grabs in the Rhine Valley. Her father is a doctor and her mother is a teacher. She started going by "Pipilotti", a combination her childhood nickname "Lotti" with her childhood hero, Astrid Lindgren’s character Pippi Longstocking, in 1982. Prior to studying art and film, Rist studied theoretical physics in Vienna for one semester. 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 Basel School of Design, 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.
Her first feature film, Pepperminta, had its world premiere at the 66th Venice International Film Festival in 2009. She summarized the plot as "a young woman and her friends on a quest to find the right color combinations and with these colors they can free other people from fear and make life better.”
In a 2011 Guardian exhibition review article, Rist describes her feminism: "Politically," she says, "I am a feminist, but personally, I am not. For me, the image of a woman in my art does not stand just for women: she stands for all humans. I hope a young guy can take just as much from my art as any woman."
During her studies, Pipilotti Rist began making super 8 films. Her works generally last only a few minutes, borrowing from mass-media formats such as MTV and advertising, with alterations in their colors, speed, and sound. Her works generally treat issues related to gender, sexuality, and the human body.
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.
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.
Sip My Ocean (1996), a video projected as a mirrored reflection on two adjoining walls, shows a dreamlike series of images of a bikini-clad woman swimming underwater among sinking tea cups, televisions, and other domestic objects. It is accompanied by a soundtrack of Rist singing Chris Isaak’s "Wicked Game", occasionally punctuated by Rist's repeated shrieking of the lyrics “I don’t want to fall in love.”
Ever is Over All (1997) shows in slow-motion a young woman walking 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.
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."
Rist's work is held in the permanent collections of museums and galleries including the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the San Francisco MoMA, and the Utrecht Centraal Museum.
Ever is Over All was referenced in 2016 by Beyoncé in the film accompanying her album Lemonade in which the singer is seen walking down a city street smashing windows of parked cars with a baseball bat.
- 1997 – Renta Preis of the Kunsthalle Nürnberg
- 1998 – Nomination for the Hugo Boss Prize
- 1999 – Wolfgang Hahn Prize
- 2003 – Honorary Professorship from Berlin University of the Arts
- 2006 – Guggenheim Museums Young Collector's Council Annual Artist's Ball honouring Pipilotti Rist
- 2007 – St. Galler Kulturpreis der St. Gallischen Kulturstiftung
- 2009 – Special Award, Seville European Film Festival
- 2009 – Joan Miró Prize, Barcelona
- 2009 – Best Exhibition Of Digital, Video, or Film: "Pour Your Body Out (7354 Cubic Meters)" at Museum of Modern Art, New York. 26th annual awards, The International Association of Art Critics (AICA)
- 2010 – Cutting the Edge Award, Miami International Film Festival
- 2011 – Best Architects '11 Award
- 2012 – Bazaar Art, International Artist of the Year, Hong Kong, China
- 2013 – Zurich Festival Prize, Zürcher Festpiele
- 2014 – Baukoma Awards for Marketing and Architecture, Best Site Development
- Phaidon Editors (2019). Great women artists. Phaidon Press. p. 338. ISBN 0714878774.
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