Pappulotti Rist

17 04 2012

The visual arts have always inspired and changed the way we see the world, and have made lives richer and fuller through enhanced vision. The works of visual artists are primarily visual in nature; using things such as paintings, sculptures, crafts, architecture, and in the modern age, even media to depict art. One such experienced visual artist of the 21st century is Pipolotti Rist, who has used video, moving images and other installations to leave visual impressions in the minds of people all over the world.

Elisabeth Charlotte Rist hails from Grabs, Switzerland. She has had the nickname “Pipolotti” from her childhood which refers to the novel Pippi Longstocking. Her initial art education included studying commercial art, illustration and photography at the Insititute of Applied Arts in Vienna, Austria; and she later went on to study audio visual communications(video) at the School of Design in Basel, Switzerland. Early in her art career, Rist started producing Super 8 films and most of her work throughout her life has concentrated on gender, sexuality and the human body. She is inclined towards audio/video installations because she believes she can incorporate other forms of art  in them  including painting, technology, language, music, movement, flowing pictures and poetry. Her personal opinion on art is: Arts task is to contribute to evolution, to encourage the mind, to guarantee a detached view of social changes, to conjure up positive energies, to create sensuousness, to reconcile reason and instinct, to research possibilities and to destroy clichés and prejudices.

Rist has had her works exhibited widely at museums and festivals throughout Europe, Japan and the US. She has produced countless installations in the past 2 decades, some very famous ones of them include ‘Im Not the Girl who Misses Much(1986)’‘Ever is all over(1997)’. and ‘Open My Glade’  which was played once every hour in the Times Square in New York City. Another famous work of her, ‘Pickelporno(1992)’, concentrates on female sexual arousal and according to Rist herself, deals with ‘Relativism of Size’. To give an idea of what Relativitism of size is, Rist gives the example of how when someone touches us on our hand, it feels like our hand is miles long, and how food becomes tiny for us when it grows cold. The video apparently uses a surveillance type camera to show a couple making love and Rist’s aim in making this video was to visually display the elegant body of a woman and also to show what the other person sees while kissing and touching. The video also deploys abstract images, fruits and other metaphoric images and motions. Overall, the work attempts to give visual form to the sensations experienced during sex; and is rightfully labelled as Pipolotti Rist’s most notorious and provocative works.