One of the most prolific and remarkable video artist is definitely Pipilotti Rist. I idolize her boldness and impudence she exposes every time during her work.
Pipilotti Rist was born in prosperous Switzerland. Aged twenty Pipilotti entered the Institute of Applied Arts in Vienna where she studied illustration and photography. When she was 35-years-old she participated in the Venice Biennial representing Switzerland. Since then she became pretty popular. Even though some of her works seem to be pretty strange one should accept it with humor and irony. Don’t be serious to judge her works as some do when see her installations and videos.
Thus her classic video I’m not The Girl Who Misses Much (1986) depicts frantic blurred moves of the artist who jumps, screams, mocks and just goes mad. And it looks absurd but captivating so that you can’t stop watching it. The title of the video refers to the first line of the Beatles’ song Happiness is a Warm Gun that she repeats at high and low speeds hysterically moving around an empty room. To tell the truth as for me it was pretty delirious and insane approach. It was. Later when I watched other works of the other video and visual artists (for example, experimental films by Viennese Actionists) I changed my mind. So sometimes it seem that her works are just OK and nothing special in comparison with others.
Another no less captivating and more beautiful work by Pipilotti Rist is a multimedia installation Pour Your Body Out that was commissioned to the artist and exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The site-specific installation presented in the second-floor atrium of the museum was of a sheer size so that visitors were literally immersed into a “landscape of monumental imagery”. Moving images were zoomed so you could hardly distinguish one object from another. Obviously initial intention of the artist was to overwhelm visitor’s feelings and to make them feel Lilliputians. Even though this piece of art differs from the above mentioned work it is still her style and approach to shock and to impress. In the interview for the Brooklyn Rail she described her idea: “I finally chose the Atrium, simply 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”. It seems like it really works. At least it worked for me.