Pipilotti Rist: Sip my Ocean

MCA Pipilotti Rist Administrating Eternity 2011 Featuring dazzling environments that plunge viewers into colourful projections which explore the relationship between nature, the body and technology, the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) presents a major new exhibition by pioneering Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist.

Exclusive to Sydney as part of the Sydney International Art Series, Pipilotti Rist: Sip my Ocean presents the spectrum of the artist’s ground-breaking practice, from her early single-channel videos of the 1980s to her large-scale audio-visual installations and recent immersive environments. Her work is an ode to the heart and the intellect, to the big emotions that sustain us as human beings and to the beauty of the world and the universe around us.

“Pipilotti Rist’s work was first shown at the MCA in 2001 in the exhibition Art/Music: Rock, Pop, Techno, and in 2014 her work featured in the 19th Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire – captivating people who sat mesmerised in the gallery for hours,” said MCA Director, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor OBE.

“We’re thrilled to continue our long-standing relationship with Rist for the Sydney International Art Series and to give our large and diverse audience the opportunity to see the most comprehensive exhibition of her work ever to be staged in Australia.”

As one of the first generation of artists to grow up with televisions in their living rooms, Rist’s work references the history of new media, with her early videos presented on monitors and her recent works projected across ceilings, floors and walls.

From the beginning Rist has been an innovator, readily engaging with advances in technology and new ways of making art. Her work reflects the symbiotic relationship between technology and biology, presenting both as an intrinsic part of human experience.

Occupying the entire third floor of the Museum, along with breakout works on the second and floor. Key works from Rist’s career form this exhibition including her earliest most well-known dual-channel video projections Sip my Ocean (1996) and Ever is Over All (1997).

The exhibition is choreographed as a sequence of different viewing experiences. Viewers are invited to sit down on oversized red sofas in Das Zimmer (The Room) (1994/2017); to walk through a magical forest of hanging lights in Pixelwald Motherboard (2016), and a maze of floating fabric in Administrating Eternity (2011); or to lie down and look up at 4th Floor to Mildness (2016), and rest on the floor cushion to watch Lobe of the Lung (2009).

“Pipilotti Rist brings ideas and feelings together, and does so through the prism of video,” said Exhibition curator and MCA Senior Curator, Natasha Bullock. “Her imaginary worlds carve a unique vision, with all the attendant depth and weight of painting – an art form that has culturally sustained us, and our imaginations, for centuries. Rist, however paints with lights cameras and keyboards.”

Pipilotti Rist was born in Grabs, Rhine Valley, Switzerland, in 1962. The second of five children, her given name is Elisabeth Charlotte Rist. When she left home at 19 she began introducing herself as Pipilotti. This was a combination of her childhood nicknames – Lotti, from her second name, and Pippi, after the children’s book character Pippi Longstocking, known for her quirky character and extraordinary strength.

Rist studied at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and Basel School of Design. She rose to prominence in the mid-1980s and 1990s with her single-channel videos, including I’m Not The Girl Who Misses Much (1986) and Pickelporno (Pimple Porno) (1992).

Her work Ever Is Over All (1997) was awarded the Premio 2000 for outstanding achievement at the Venice Biennale in 1997. For her first feature film, Pepperminta (2009), Rist won the Extraordinary Award from the President of the panel of judges of the sixth Seville European Film Festival in Spain, and in 2010 the Cutting the Edge Award from the Miami International European Film Festival.

In 2009, Rist was awarded the Joan Miró Prize by the Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona for her outstanding creativity, and in 2012, was awarded the Harper’s Bazaar China Art Prize; in 2013 the Zurich Festival Prize; and in 2014 the Prix Meret Oppenheim.

Rist’s works have been exhibited widely at institutions and festivals worldwide. Her recent solo shows include: Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forest, New York (2016); Pipilotti Rist: Your Saliva is my Diving Suit in the Ocean of Pain, Switzerland (2016); Gentle Wave in Your Eye Fluid, China (2013); and Pipilotti Rist: À la belle étoile, Seattle (2012).

Pipilotti Rist: Sip my Ocean
Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, George Street, The Rocks (Sydney)
Exhibition continues to 18 February 2017
Admission fees apply

For more information, visit: www.mca.com.au for details.

Image: Pipilotti Rist, Administrating Eternity, 2011, (installation view), Pipilotti Rist: Eyeball Massage, Hayward Gallery London, London, 2011, courtesy the artist, Hauser & Wirth and Luhring Augustine © Pipilotti Rist – photo by Linda Nylind