Unforgettable. Unmissable. Pipilotti Rist at Hauser and Wirth.


If some of the work shown by Hauser and Wirth has not been to your taste, do not be put off, for the new exhibition, on until 22nd February, contains work by the video artist Pipilotti Rist which I personally found amazing, unforgettable, moving and beautiful.

Her work is well described in the hand-out sheets, so I will not repeat what is there. Turning up to see it with a friend we passed through the galleries showing the work of Richard Tuttle and John Chamberlain which we found, let us say, challenging.

We feared that video art might not  inspire us either for much of the work produced under the label “video art” can, in my limited experience, be a real turn-off, often it seems being slow-moving, boring, technically inept, clunky, and as regards content, vacuous.  Not so the work of Pipliotti Rist whose complete mastery of the technicalities of her chosen medium frees her to produce something really special.

Coming into the large, darkened Rhoades Gallery you are confronted by two walls, floor to ceiling, which are alive with the projected video and an accompanying virtuoso soundtrack of resonating, plangent, banjo folk music by Heinz Rohrer. You then have the choice of sitting on a stool on the opposite side, or of flopping down on the floor upon luxuriously thick sheepskins, cushions and rugs. Do the first and you can see the whole range of the projection.  Sit on the rugs (which form part of the installation) and you are immersed right into it.  Do not worry about reading what it is all about before you go in, but give yourself enough time to sit through the whole streaming twice. (There is no beginning or end, the show is continuous and runs for about thirty minutes – or so it seemed).

As you stagger out stunned and inspired there is a second more peaceful experience for you to enjoy in the Bougeois Gallery where Rist has explored in a different way her reaction to the flora and landscape of Somerset, again moving and beautiful.
John Baxter