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Pipilotti Rist, Gravity Be My Friend, 2007. Installtion view at Magasin 3, Stockholm/SE. Photo by Johan Warden.

Pipilotti Rist

Opening in June 2008 , one of the world’s most celebrated contemporary artists considers the human condition – from a conspicuously female position. Directing and often playing the lead in her own works, Pipilotti Rist turned to the do-it-yourself medium of video because of its closeness and intimacy with the subject. At a significant juncture in the artist’s career, as she prepares for a departure from the gallery to the big screen of cinema, this exhibition draws together a set of the prevailing concerns within the artist’s work to date.

With a trademark sensual slickness, her work explores ideas of fearlessness, the body, nature and spirituality. In this UK debut of Gravity Be My Friend, the final part of a series launched to great acclaim with a site-specific installation in a church at the 51st Venice Bienniale, she turns to the age-old religious concern of a paradise lost, equating a global consciousness of climate change with the fall of man in the Garden of Eden.

Merging her own childhood diminutive name Lotti to that of her hero Pippi Longstocking, Elisabeth Charlotte Rist em-braced the irreverence and exuberance of Astrid Lindgren’s fictional character as an alternative feminine model for her own artistic practice. While Pippi Longstocking hangs out with pirates and does what she wants when she wants, Pipilotti Rist plays innerbody music and pulls existential faces; seduces but keeps her distance. She uses the excessive and the absurd to fracture any sense of moralising and her work carves out a space where anything is possible. No act of subversion is so strong that it disrupts the whole – and yet her work is as disturbing as it is playful.

We gratefully acknowledges the support of Hauser & Wirth Zürich London.

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