Monday, 24 October 2011

Pipilotti Rist

View of work installed at Hayward Gallery

I can't say enough good things about this exhibition, it was ethereal beautiful and relaxing but also gruesome humorous and humbling.
I was enthralled by a piece called "Suburban brain" which included a tiny replica of a typical suburban house with working lights in the windows that flicked on and off like a home. I just kept watching the orange curtains light up and throw hazy beams out onto the pristine back garden, thinking of the Sims computer game and getting pangs of nostalgia.

"Selfless In The Bath Of Lava" (still shown above) really made me think about problems with my own work and made me a little bit angry too (at myself) because it reminded me of an epiphany I had a few years ago after finding a tiny shard of glass on the floor with my entire kitchen reflected in it. At the time and since then I've only applied what I learned to my painting work and I'm still doing this terrible pigeonholing with most things that I acquire. It's strange how you can think you're suddenly aware of so much and yet still not grasp the full potential of that knowledge.

The exhibition as a whole was strange for me because it had a commanding presence but it was commanding you to be free, to stop acting with normal gallery etiquette. Her individual projections communicate visceral body awareness in their specific content but it is the delivery of them that actually asks, if not forces you to try and recognize that your body is always active and present.

"Selfless In The Bath Of Lava" which you have to crouch to see and "I'm not the girl" where you have to stick your head in a box brings your mind back to your body's exterior actions while the giant mirror screen lounge room displaying "Lobe of the Lung" (which was like a REALLY long shoegaze music video from the 90s) brings your awareness to the passive movement and energy inside the body.

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