8 rooms in Performer and Participant
Enter a magical world where humans, animals and plants interact in mesmerising ways
Pepperminta, a red-haired woman, travels across land and water in this work. She is mostly unclothed to represent a human being unconnected to a time, class or place. Her body is magnified and multiplied, while a pig, apples, tulips and strawberries appear distorted and giant.
As Pepperminta moves through water, her menstrual blood blends into the sea. This could represent her desire to be at one with nature. Rist has said, ‘I think a girl should shout for joy the first time she gets her period, because it is a symbol of creative power, of life. Blood, our lifeblood.’
Rist’s environments blur the boundaries between the real and the virtual world. Drawn in by her dream-like spaces and larger-than-life images, we might feel transported to another universe. There is no dialogue for us to follow, only a psychedelic soundtrack by Anders Guggisberg and Roland Widmer – two of the artist’s many long-term collaborators.
Rist studied graphic design in Vienna in the mid-1980s. There she experimented with super-8 film and created stage designs for music bands. Rist uses saturated colours and special editing techniques in her work. Aiming to draw us into fantasy worlds so we also become part of them, Rist has said:
At first you look at the box, at the [television] screen or projection, but when you concentrate on the sequences you feel as if you’re inside the box, behind the glass, within the wall. You forget everything around you… you’re swallowed.
Rist wants the artwork to feel ‘noble and inviting’. If you can, please remove your shoes and make yourself comfortable with a seat on the carpet.
Pipilotti Rist, Lungenflügel 2009
Presented across three screens, Lobe of the Lung 2009 is an immersive video installation, lasting just over fifteen minutes. It depicts a luxurious valley in which the two main characters, a naked woman and a pig, wander. The human and the animal are put on the same plane, each appearing on one of the facing screenings, left and right of the central projection. The woman crawls on all fours, eating apples straight from the grass, in a choreography that very closely emulates the movements of the swine. As the work progresses, the footage becomes more abstract, filmed partly under water in hues of vibrant red, partly in fields of brightly colored tulips. Lobe of the Lung plays on kaleidoscopic colors and distortions, as well as the disproportionate relationship between the scale of the projection and the viewer’s body. The installation, which includes pillows and a carpet, encourages the audience to lie on the floor. This is the only position from which the work can be seen in its entirety. The work offers a non-human centric perspective of the world; its enhanced colors evoke the hues of the internal organs, while the title Lobe of the Lung refers to a portion of the respiratory system.
artworks in Pipilotti Rist