press release

Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist is a pioneer of video art, acclaimed for her innovative installations. Pipilotti Rist: Eyeball Massage is her first major public survey show in the UK, presenting videos, sculptures and installations, and bringing together over 30 works spanning her career from the 1980s to today. Highly accomplished technically and rich in dazzling colour, Rist’s practice fuses sensual images, music, and sometimes text to create mesmerising works. Opening 28 September and running until 8 January 2012 the exhibition will transform the gallery’s lower spaces and features new works including an audio-video installation and an outdoor light sculpture created from 300 pairs of underpants.

Rist creates films – playful, psychedelic, sensuous, and often provocative – exploring themes and imagery of birth and death; family and love; the body and the natural world. By exploring size and scale, high and low technology, the natural world and the urban environment, Rist invites her audience to question ways of seeing and experiencing art, and to constantly change their perspectives. The Hayward exhibition presents Rist’s single screen videos and full-bleed large scale projections; monitors in a suspended bathing suit; videos projected inside shells and handbags, and onto a chandelier made of underpants; onto a model of a suburban house; and directly onto the lap of a visitor. Outside the galleries works will be shown in the Hayward Gallery Shop and projected onto the floor of one of the gallery toilets.

Stephanie Rosenthal, Chief Curator, Hayward Gallery said: “Rist’s works compel us to change our way of looking at our own and other people’s bodies, and question our relationship to nature. Her art transforms the material of our lives into sensual experience and imbues the most ordinary events or objects with a sense of wonder. In her respectful, generous way, she embraces the gallery visitor, and invites them into her world.”

Exhibition highlights include:

• A new audio video installation Administrating Eternity (2011). The images were shot on location in the Swiss countryside and city suburbs. The film is projected onto a ‘forest’ of free hanging transparent curtains. As visitors wander through, they too catch the images and become the canvas for the projection, reflecting the artists enduring interest in creating a close relationship between work and spectator. In this space visitors can lounge on cushions made from stuffed trousers, shirts and jumpsuits.

• 300 pairs of white underpants in various sizes are the basis of Hiplights or Enlightened Hips (2011) a new outdoor light sculpture created by Rist. Individually lit by circular LED lights, the glowing underpants will be suspended like laundry on a washing line along the riverside in front of the Royal Festival Hall and up towards the Hayward Gallery. The underpants have been provided by family, friends and the international charity, Caritas. Inside the gallery suspended from the ceiling in the centre of the room is Massachusetts Chandelier (2010), a huge luminous chandelier created from hundreds of underpants lit from the outside by projections.

• Lobe Of The Lung (2009) a 15m wide projection invites visitors to sink into Rist’s world of imagery and sounds, with her characters Pepperminta, Leopoldine and Werwen as their guide through the kaleidoscopic landscape.

• In the second gallery, Rist has collaborated with London based architect Andreas Lechthaler to present sculptural works in a sequence of ephemeral spaces which flow into one another. The semi-transparent dividers have varied surfaces and can gently move, giving them a skin-like quality. Adapted from the clothing and gardening industries these dividers provide a glowing surface and more sustainable approach than traditional wooden partitions.

• The Hayward Gallery’s concrete stairwell is transformed by Rist’s multicoloured photomontaged wallpaper sculpture I Never Taught In Buffalo II (2000-2003), a collage of computer and TV screens in jumbled domestic settings.

• The Innocent Collection (1985–c.2032) an ongoing art work adapted for the Hayward Gallery which suspends recycled white, beige and translucent unbranded containers– material objects usually discarded. Once part of the work these unwanted objects become in Rist’s words ‘instant diamonds’.

• One of Rist’s most well known works Ever Is Over All (1997) will be shown alongside in the Hayward Project Space. It features two endlessly looping, overlapping videos, which merge and flow into one another: one of a field of giant exotic flowers and the other of a woman strolling along, shattering car windows with the stem of a flower.

The exhibition is curated by Dr Stephanie Rosenthal, Chief Curator, Hayward Gallery. It will tour to Kunsthalle Mannheim, from 24 March to 24 June 2012.

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Pipilotti Rist
Kuratorin: Stephanie Rosenthal

28.09.11 - 08.01.12 Hayward Gallery, London
24.03.12 - 24.06.12 Kunsthalle Mannheim