Goldsmiths Curatorial Critique

Pipplotti Rist: Pour Your Body Out (7353 Cubic Meters) – The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Posted in Reviews by jeremygoldsmith on December 10, 2008

Installation photoPippilotti Rist’s installation at the museum of modern art in New York is a stunning visual display that encapsulates the viewer in a swirling psychedelic environment of pleasure.

 

The imagery itself consists of visions of nature landscapes, animals, fruit, water, space, details of people and macro images of what seems like sub atomic particles and embryonic components, all of which Rist terms “spiritual vitamins.” Some of the images remind me of Fischli Weiss photographs, while others suggest the still life paintings of Marc Quinn and others reflect the dream like imagery of surrealist painters like Salvador Dali or Yves Tanguy.

 

There are no still frames; the video is in constant flowing flux. Standing in the room the fluid motion makes you feel at first somewhat dizzy, however, once you settle down it becomes much more pleasantly negotiable.

 

The video display occupies the entirety of the atrium on the first floor of the museum filling wall to wall at least 35 feet vertically of the three main walls. The gallery floor is carpeted with a dark red plush material with a smaller circular even more plush carpet filling the centre of the room. Sitting on top of that is again a circular shaped sofa with pillows allowing viewers to sit or lie down, relax and take in the whole video. Viewers are instructed to remove their shoes upon entry to as to ensure the carpets and sofas retain their soft and home-y feel.  To quote the text presented before entering the space: “Pippilotti Rist invites you to remove your shoes when in the area of the iris-shaped sofa. Please feel as liberated as possible and move as freely as you can or want to! Watch the videos and listedn to the sound in any position or movement. Practice stretching: pour your body out of your hips or watch through your legs. Rolling around and singing is also allowed!”  

 

Accompanying the video is a sound track that for lack of better description is “trippy”. I am reminded of Pink Floyd or Alman Brothers concerts mixed in with a bit of something like Massive Attack. The sound and video together is extremely relaxing, and something seems quite elemental about it, allowing the viewer in a sort of unsettling way to relate to the entirety of the piece. I suppose it is the womb like nature of the environment and its surroundings that make it feel like you are at home, experiencing life from the inside, before you are born.

 

All things considered, this is a fabulous work of art that transcends boundaries of film, installation and therapy.

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