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Pipilotti Rist Interview: Freeing the Wonderlight, Louisiana Channel, 2019
03 Aug 2019

Pipilotti Rist: Freeing the Wonderlight

‘This is a room where people are invited to lay down and relax, to discover how they perceive differently.’ Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist leads us through her immersive video installations at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art and inside her studio in Switzerland for the exhibition ‘Åbn min lysning (Open my Glade)’.

The exhibition is a large retrospective, and the first ever for the artist in Scandinavia. It features major installations such as ‘Pixel Forest’ (2012) and ‘Sip My Ocean’ (2018), where viewers lie on beds or wander in woven paths through long strings of LED lights. Rist’s work possesses a playful yet powerful investigation into the essence of light, color and the experience of viewing art. Traces of an ‘upside-down Monet’, the strange, distant shouts of a musician or sensuous visuals of the body all pervade the space.

Pipilotti_Rist_020319__28 Photos Poul Buchard

Installation view, ‘Pipilotti Rist. Åbn min lysning’ (Open my Glade)’, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark, 2019 © Pipilotti Rist

Pipilotti_Rist_270219__01 Photos Poul Buchard

Installation view, ‘Pipilotti Rist. Åbn min lysning’ (Open my Glade)’, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark, 2019 © Pipilotti Rist

Since the mid-1980s, Rist has continuously challenged the conventions of video. The camera, for the artist, allows one to glimpse large and miniscule perspectives—of an insect or a raindrop on a leaf. These moments of lucidity in Rist’s films often reiterate humans as a part of nature, and of the strange privileges of being human. Across a career spanning more than three decades, Rist’s work has continued to explore art as a sentient phenomenon in dialogue with nature and technology. The artist has projected on the ceiling of the Swiss Federal Office of Culture for the Venice Biennale, the pavement outside Centre Pompidou, and across countless museums such as MoMA and the New Museum in New York.

‘A show by me is like a journey through a body, or a helter-skelter…. You not only encounter the works but you encounter the other watching the works.’

Pipilotti_Rist_270219__05 Photos Poul Buchard

Installation view, ‘Pipilotti Rist. Åbn min lysning’ (Open my Glade)’, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark, 2019 © Pipilotti Rist

_KIM5744-Edit Louisiana Museum of Modern Art Kim Hansen

Installation view, ‘Pipilotti Rist. Åbn min lysning’ (Open my Glade)’, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark, 2019 © Pipilotti Rist

At the heart of ‘Åbn min lysning’ (Open my Glade)’ is an emphasis on the potential of the museum as a collective, imaginative force, able to release visitors from the confines of inner life. Rist says ‘a show by me is like a journey through a body, or a helter-skelter…. You not only encounter the works but you encounter the other watching the works.’

The artist has a belief in the museum as a platform to ‘lift us all into a common thought bubble’ where we are able ‘to share knowledge, feelings, inner images and suggestions’. Rist’s art is expansive, often finding within the mind, senses and body the possibility for endless discovery and imaginative invention. Rist hopes Louisiana can undergo a domesticating transformation, a kind of ‘shared apartment where you can visit each other’s brains’.

‘Åbn min lysning (Open my Glade)’ is open to visitors at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark through 22 September 2019.

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