Pipilotti Rist

(b. 1962)

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(1962– )

Swiss Video and installation artist, born in Rheintal. Born Charlotte Rist, she changed her name to Pipilotti in 1986, the year she began studying video at Basle College of Design, as a reference to the popular children's book Pipi Longstocking. Her colourful work draws on popular culture, and in Switzerland and Germany she has attained something of the status of a pop star. I'm not the girl who misses much (1986) shows the artist dancing ecstatically to the distorted singing of a John Lennon song. When a little over half-way through the actual voice of Lennon is heard, the warmth of the sound has an overwhelming impact. The original words are ‘You're not the girl who misses much’: Rist has dramatized the effect of music on the psyche in a remarkably original manner. Ever is Over All (1997, MoMA, New York), projected on two screens across the corner of a room, is described by Michael Rush as ‘a life-affirming breezy feminist tract’. On one screen there are shots of flowers, on the other there is a city street. Down this strides Rist in a flowing dress carrying a stick with flowers at the end, revealed to be a metal club when she uses it to smash car windows. Rist is also a rock singer with the band Les Reines Prochaines.

Further Reading

A. Seleanu, ‘Pipilotti Rist at the outer frontiers of video’, Artfocus/69 (August 2000)

Subjects: Art.

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