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 Charlotte Rist
(1962-06-21) June 21, 1962 (age 53)
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)

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

Life and career[edit]

Rist was born Elisabeth Charlotte 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.

Rist studied commercial art, illustration, and photography at the University of Applied Arts Vienna in Vienna, through 1986. 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.[3]

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.[4]


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.

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.

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."[5]

Video and Audio Installation[edit]

  • Enlight My Space <Erleuchte (und kläre) meinen Raum>, video installation, 2008
  • The Blue Fairy in the Valley, video installation, 2007
  • Die gelbe Fee in der Allee <The Yellow Fairy in the Avenue>, video installation, 2007
  • Ginas Mobile <Gina's Mobile>, video installation, 2007
  • Tyngdkraft, var min vän <Schwerkraft, sei meine Freundin> <Gravity Be My Friend>, audio video installation, 2007
  • A la belle étoile <Under The Sky>, audio video installation, 2007
  • Deine Raumkapsel <Your Space-Capsule>, audio video installation, 2006
  • Celle selbst zu zweit, audio video installation by Gutararist aka Gudrun Gut & Pipilotti Rist, 2006
  • Despierta <Wach auf>, audio video installation, 2001/2005
  • A Liberty Statue for Löndön <Eine Freiheitsstatue für Löndön>, audio video installation, 2005
  • Daggrystimer i naboens hus <Dawn Hours in Neighbour’s House>, audio video and light installation, 2005
  • Homo Sapiens Sapiens, audio video installation in San Stae church Venice, 2005
  • Du erneuerst Dich (in Japanese) <You Renew You>, audio video installation as an instant temple, 2004
  • Herz aufwühlen Herz ausspülen <Stir Heart Rinse Heart>, audio video installation, 2004
  • Apple Tree Innocent On Diamond Hill <Apfelbaum unschuldig auf dem Diamantenhügel> <Manzano innocente en la colina de diamantes>, video installation, 2003
  • The Cake is in Flames <Der Kuchen steht in Flammen>, audio video installation, 2002
  • Related Legs (Yokohama Dandelions) <Verwandte Beine (Yokohama Löwenzahn)>, audio video installation, 2001
  • Expecting (Installation in/for Centraal Museum, Utrecht / Bovenkapel: When I Run I Use My Feet, Benedenkapel: One Jesus in Nature, One At The Doctor, One In The Hotel), audio video installation, 2001
  • Supersubjektiv <Super Subjective>, audio video installation, 2000/2001
  • Kleines Vorstadthirn <Small Suburb Brain>, audio video installation, 1999/2001 bzw. 2007 bzw. 2009
  • Open My Glade (Flatten) <Öffne meine Lichtung>, video installation, 2000 video
  • Closet Circuit, video installation by Pipilotti Rist in collaboration with the toilet visitor, 2000
  • Himalaya’s Sister’s Living Room, audio video installation, 2000
  • Himalaya Goldsteins Stube <Himalaya Goldstein’s Living Room>, audio video installation, 1999
  • I Couldn’t Agree With You More, audio video installatio, 1999
  • Vorstadthirn <Suburb Brain>, audio video installation, 1999
  • Cintia, audio video installation, 1994/99
  • Regenfrau (I Am Called A Plant) <Rain Woman (I Am Called A Plant)>, audio video installation, 1999
  • Extremitäten (weich, weich) <Extremities (smooth, smooth)>, audio video installation, 1999
  • Zeittunnel



  • Morsiani, Paola/ Hanor, Stephanie/Harris, Mark/Morales, René/Yablonsky, Linda: "Wishing for Synchronicity: Works by Pipilotti Rist", Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Houston, 2009 [engl. version] (ISBN-978-1-933619-17-0)
  • Kempers, Paul/Schreuder, Catrien/Slyce, John/Wennekes, Emilie: Elixir: the video organism of Pipilotti Rist, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, 2009. (exh. cat.) [engl. & Dutch version] (ISBN 978-90-6918-237-7)
  • Rist, Pipilotti/Hara Museum of Contemporary Art (ed.): Karakaracan, Tokyo/Zürich, 2007. (Artist publication by the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo accompanying the exhibition "Karakara" at the Hara Museum. Designed by Thomas Rhyner.)
  • Magasin 3 (ed.): Pipilotti Rist – Congratulations!, Lars Müller Publishers, Baden, 2007 (exh. cat.) [engl., German & Swedish version] (ISBN 978-3-03778-108-1)
  • Rist, Pipilotti: Pepperminta Homo sapiens sapiens – boxa ludens, Lars Müller Publishers, Wettingen, 2005. (Artist publication edited by the Swiss Federal Office of Culture accompanying the exhibition at the Venice Biennale. Designed by Thomas Rhyner.) (ISBN 3-03778-051-7)
  • Söll, Änne: Pipilotti Rist, Artists Monographs, Vol. 3, Friedrich Christian Flick Collection, Dumont, Köln, 2005. [engl. & German version] (ISBN 3-83217-578-4)
  • MUSAC – Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Castilla y Leon: Soundtracks de las video instalaciones de Pipilotti Rist, 2005. (CD and booklet, contains music of the major installations by Pipilotti Rist, music by and with Anders Guggisberg, Peter Bräker, Les Reines Prochaines, Heinz Rohrer, Roland Widmer, Saadet Türköz, Cintia Buonomo, Gruss vom Walensee, Pipilotti Rist.)
  • Kempker, Birgit/Rist, Pipilotti: Jestem swoja wlasna obca swinia <Ich bin mein eigenes fremdes Schwein/I am my own foreign pig>, Centrum Sztuki Wspolczesnej Zamek Ujazdowski, 2004. (This artist book with a wild text of the German writer Birgit Kempker comes in Polish, German and English. Designed by Maciej Buszewicz.) (ISBN 83-88277-13-8)
  • Rist, Pipilotti: Apricots Along The Street, Scalo Zürich/Berlin/New York, 2001. (This is another freestyle artist book also designed by/with Thomas Rhyner with some gadgets. English with only the difficult words translated into Spanish and German.) (ISBN 3-908247-50-0)
  • Phelan, Peggy/Obrist, Hans Ulrich/Bronfen, Elisabeth: Pipilotti Rist, Phaidon Press Limited, London, 2001. (This is an informative monography with text and interviews by and with Peggy Phelan, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Elisabeth Bronfen and others.) (ISBN 0-7148-3965-5)
  • Rist, Pipilotti: Himalaya, Pipilotti Rist 50 kg, Oktagon Verlag Köln, 1998. This artist’s book [designed by Thomas Rhyner] including the music CD 'we can't' realised with Anders Guggisberg. It’s actually sold out but there are some copies left in national distribution centres like the one of Switzerland or USA. (ISBN 3-89611-072-1)
  • Rist, Pipilotti: Sip My Ocean, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 1996. Catalog of Ms. Rist's installation issued to coincide with the opening of the museum. Includes 8 perforated postcards bound in two sheets. (ISBN 0-933856-45-8)

About Pipilotti Rist[edit]


External links[edit]