Moderna Museet
Island of Skeppsholmen
+46 8 51955200 FAX +46 40 6857937
dal 6/2/2009 al 18/4/2009

Segnalato da

Maria Morberg

calendario eventi  :: 



Moderna Museet, Stockholm

A film- and video-based exhibition, designed to appeal to visitors of all ages. The title refers to the button on the video player as well as to games and theatre. The films, which all come from Moderna Museet's collection, illustrate how artists have used the moving image to document performance, express feelings or create transformation. Playing is said to be a prerequisite of culture and can be easily associated with artistic practice, as the boundlessness of play shares similarities with the creative process. Curated by Camilla Carlberg.

comunicato stampa

Curated by Camilla Carlberg

Participating artists:
Sadie Benning
Dara Birnbaum
Alexander Calder
Nathalie Djurberg
Viking Eggeling
Carin Ellberg
Joan Jonas
Jesper Just
William Kentridge
Bruce Nauman
Pipilotti Rist

Play is a film- and video-based exhibition, designed to appeal to visitors of all ages. The name Play refers to the button on the video player as well as to games and theatre. The films, which all come from Moderna Museet’s collection, illustrate how artists have used the moving image to document performance, express feelings or create transformation.

Playing is said to be a prerequisite of culture and can be easily associated with artistic practice, as the boundlessness of play shares similarities with the creative process. A playful attitude is one of many possible perspectives for a selection from the museum’s film- and video collection. The artists in this exhibition take playing very seriously, and the playful expression leads on to more. They also play with the media of film itself, exploring and pushing it to its limits. In many cases the game is fun, but not always. It is also serious and sometimes painful.

The selection presented in Play illustrates how film as an artistic media has developed, from the experimental films of the early 1920s to contemporary large-scale productions. Play presents milestone artworks such as Diagonal Symphony by Viking Eggeling and Art Make-Up by Bruce Nauman. The exhibition also shows some of the most noteable contemporary video artists, including Pipilotti Rist and Jesper Just.

Sadie Benning started her career at the mere age of 16 when she was given a video camera by her father. This camera could make black-and-white films and record sound, but the image quality was fairly crude and the sound noisy. These characteristics, together with themes based on personal video documentations, are typical of Benning’s oeuvre.

Many of her works have the nature of diary notes, in which a young teenage girl’s dreams, wishes, fears and fantasies are expressed. The teenage girl is confronted with a world replete with sensational headlines about child abuse and TV news reports about mass murder. A world where nobody is safe against violence – and everyone is equally fragile. But also a world where homosexuality, racism, sexism and other social injustices make their imprint.

It did not take many years for Benning to gain recognition on the art scene and get her video works shown at the Whitney Biennial (1993 and 2000). Apart from video works, she has participated in an album with her group Le Tigre in which her remarkable voice is heard in the track “Dude, Yr So Crazy”. Her project Play Pause (2006), a retrospective exhibition of all her works, was widely acclaimed. The exhibition included a large video installation consisting of hundreds of Benning’s drawings.

A Place Called Lovely (1991)
A devastating film about lost innocence, all kinds of violence and assault that a young person can be subjected to, and about dashed hopes. Benning has collected images illustrating violence from a multitude of sources, including film clips, tabloid cuttings and her own memories of bullying, along with other people’s personal experiences. Her clear-sighted rendering in A Place Called Lovely shows how individuals who subject others to violence merely participate in a larger chain of violence that runs through society. Bad things do not only happen to bad people; even innocent people can become victims.
In her film, Benning confronts those who bullied her, she refuses to be the victim and the bullies are the ones to be persecuted. Benning’s video recorder serves as a revealing diary, and she is not afraid of living out her feelings to the limit.

Dara Birnbaum embarked on her career in the late 1970s by studying video art. Her productions consisted of clips from taped TV programmes that she combined with new music. Many of these works are variations on the same theme, exploring mainly the various types of TV programmes. With new editing and ideas, they are converted into new video installations. Against the backdrop of 1970s popular culture and commercialism, which had become a major factor in the development of TV, Birnbaum wanted to generate a discussion on how television could be a channel for art. Moreover, she wanted to explore new ways of using television to build various forms of audiences and cultural expectations.

Birnbaum also studied female stereotypes, and in the mid-1980s she was engaged in a video and installation work in three parts based on the Faust myth. Here, using personal and social experiences, she examined typical myths about women. Other prominent projects by Birnbaum include the interactive Rio Videowall (1989) and the installation Tiananmen Square: Brake The Transmission (1990/1999).

A typical trait of Birnbaum’s work is the continuous repetition of a sequence. The viewer is forced to see the same image over and over again, sometimes resulting in new interpretations of that image. Birnbaum seeks to reveal the hidden yet superficial structures of the TV-medium by separating certain elements, such as image and text, from their context. In this way, she deconstructs the overall images of popular culture, enabling new interpretations while presenting their superficial nature as something inconsequential.

Wonder Woman (1978-1979)
Wonder Woman is a perfect example of how Birnbaum utilises popular culture. She tapes a TV programme and then re-cuts it to construct something new. With her own remixed soundtrack and a new composition consisting of repeated scenes, she creates a new ready-made. Wonder Woman shows a female character who is transformed into a superhero by twirling in strong light. The more times the woman spins in these repetitive sequences, the more clearly the format for her portrayal is revealed – a portrayal that was not entirely unusual in 1970s TV productions.

The American artist Alexander Calder was born in an artist family in Lawton near Pennsylvania. Even as an eight-year-old, he created kinetic works of art, such as a wooden duck that could waddle back and forth when tapped. At the age of 21, he graduated as an engineer and worked in this field before deciding to go to art school in New York. While studying, Calder had various jobs, including one as illustrator for a newspaper. One of his assignments was to make sketches of Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus – a task that was to awaken a passionate interest in the circus that would manifest itself in his future works.

Shortly after graduation, Calder moved to Paris, where he amused himself by creating circus miniatures out of wood and wire, calling them Cirque Calder. His circus consisted of miniature figures representing circus artistes performing their acts. The diminutive size meant that the circus was portable, giving him the idea of touring and arranging performance-like shows. The audience consisted partly of the French artist -garde, and his shows were immensely popular.

In the early 1930s, Calder met Piet Mondrian. A visit to Mondrian’s studio made Calder aware of the Modernist movement, and inspired his mobile creations based on geometric forms. A few years later, he created other similar works, but since these were more static, they were called “stabiles”. Today, both his mobiles from the 1930s and his stabiles are known to the broader public. After returning to the USA, Calder continued to work on his Cirque Calder performances, and also created large-scale wood sculptures during the Second World War. In the 1950s, he began producing larger, monumental works.

Cirque (1961)

Here we can experience Calder’s famous Cirque Calder performances as filmed by Carlos Vilardebó. On the wooden floor of what appears to be his studio a somewhat aged Calder is kneeling. The small circus model figures are moved into various positions and then perform their circus artist movements and gestures according to Calder’s direction. Calder’s wife is sitting in the background and plays records that add to the playful mood. The viewer gains an insight into Calder’s private sphere – an environment that consists of a puppet theatre and a man’s untiring sense of play.
The film is only 19 minutes long, a short version of the circus, because Calder’s live performances usually lasted two hours.

Natalie Djurberg focuses on producing animated short films in which her clay figures act out the darker sides of humanity and life. Accepted at the Malmö Art Academy when only 19, she began experimenting, alongside her regular study assignments, with making films based on paintings and eventually clay. These clay figures may appear naïve and fairly comical at first glance, but their innocuous acts soon evolve into disturbing and violent scenes. They are manoeuvred with strings; marionettes in everyday settings. The combination of vivid props, naïve characters and absurd narratives gives rise to confusing signals – is this a kid’s movie or an adult movie we are watching?

Djurberg has been exceedingly prolific since her graduation in 2002. In 2006, she was also awarded the Beckers Art Grant. The jury said: “Djurberg makes us see and feel, and when our laughter sticks in our throats we realise that chaos is the neighbour of God.” In addition to participating in several group exhibitions, three of her films, all in her unique style, have been featured at Färgfabriken, and she has also shown six works at Moderna Museet in 2005. Djurberg currently works mainly in Berlin, where she lives.

Florentin (2004)
This short film features two young girls playing with an adult male in a typical domestic setting. The picture frame does not include the whole room, however, but the camera appears to zoom in on the playing figures in an exceedingly intrusive, not to say claustrophobic, way. The girls’ harmonious, innocuous games suddenly take another turn, and the viewer is witness to an unexpected event. The man throws the girls across his lap and decides to give them a beating, something which he will regret a few minutes later when the girls take their revenge… When does play turn serious? And who is the victim, and who is the perpetrator?

The soundtrack consists of music, not dialogue, and initially we are captured by the jolly, playful music that reflects the interaction of the characters. Slowly, however, the pace is increased into a nearly hysterical note that is repeated over and over again. Thus, in Florentin the progression of the narrative relies entirely on images and music.

At the age of 17, Viking Eggeling emigrated to Germany, embarked on a business course in Flensburg and then moved on to Switzerland to work as an accountant at a clock factory. But Eggeling, a restless soul, soon went on to Milan where he stayed for six years, working as an accountant. His interest in art was nourished at night school, and he also met his first wife, an Austrian, around this time. Together, they moved back to Switzerland, where, to his joy, Eggeling was offered a job as an art teacher.

Eggeling was basically an autodidact and was deeply involved in the art scene. Around 1911, he met Jean Arp and the Cubists in Paris. He was readily inspired by contemporary art trends. His early works were mainly realistic sketches of landscapes and portraits, but he eventually developed a more reductive style. Four years later, in Switzerland, he became acquainted with Hans Richter. A few years after that, he discovered Dada. His first sketches for the picture scrolls Horizontal-Vertical Orchestra and Diagonal Symphony were probably made together with Richter. The philosophy of the Dada movement appealed to Eggeling, and this prompted him to contribute to their publication and their soirees, and assisted them in formulating a couple of manifestos. A characteristic of Eggeling’s own philosophy is the creation of communication between the artist and the audience – a universal language in which art was not corrupted.

Around the 1920s, the collaboration between Eggeling and Richter intensified. They made sketches, formal studies and analyses based on Eggeling’s philosophy about the universal language. Their studies, combined with their aim to integrate movement and time, generated their first picture scrolls and eventually led to the film Horizontal-Vertical Orchestra. There are many documents revealing their continuous battles with technical problems throughout the course of the project. The film was shown in Germany in 1923, but only for ten minutes, and unfortunately this was the last time it was seen. The film is now lost. Diagonal Symphony was begun the same year – a film that won him the international fame that lasts to this day. In 1925, the film opened in Berlin, and Eggeling died shortly after.

Diagonal Symphony (1920)
This film is based on the picture scrolls for Diagonal Symphony and the earlier sketches made by Eggeling and Richter. It was shot one frame at a time, using a light box with a glass top on which image objects were placed. These objects were shapes made of tin foil that were moved for each new picture. Double exposure was achieved by winding back the film in the camera after each shot, to create the illusion of movement and composition, a composition of geometric patterns.

Thus, Diagonal Symphony is an entirely abstract film with the ambition of creating a universal language of shapes without any naturalistic elements. The importance of music to Eggeling’s work is apparent from the title of this film, but also in the fact that the length of the film coincides with the duration of the music.

Carin Ellberg was born in Stockholm, where she graduated in 1989 from the Royal University College of Fine Arts. In the 1980s, Ellberg produced several video- and film-based works on the recurring theme of finding a link between everyday life and art. This link is rarely humdrum but imaginative and unexpected. Her art frequently features humorous portrayals of experiences from internal and external perspectives.

In the 1990s, she began to devote herself to hybrid works incorporating painting and sculptural objects. Untraditional materials such as plastic toys, tights, modelling clay and discarded clothes are glued together into motley hybrid formations, suggesting ideas on recycling and transformation.

One of her works currently in the Moderna Museet collection is Sunrise II from 1998, which was also exhibited at Bethanienhaus in Berlin that year. Other acclaimed exhibitions include the installation The House (1987), which was shown at Kulturhuset in Stockholm. A few sculptures by Ellberg now adorn public spaces in Sweden, for instance, The Fifth Element (2002) in Gävle and Wood Elf (2005) on Chapmans Torg in Gothenburg. In 2005, Ellberg was awarded the Friends of Moderna Museet Sculpture Award, and more recently, in 2008, her installations of small, constructed worlds made out of materials such as coffee, silicone and clothes – obviously inspired by everyday events – were shown at Verkligheten in Umeå.

The Kitchen (1987)
The Kitchen portrays three women, played by the artists, living apparently parallel lives. Wearing wigs and listless expressions, they set tables, wash up, vacuum clean and perform various household chores that are interrupted only when having a fag. The days go by, to the endless soundtrack of old disco classics.

Carin Ellberg reveals the unglamorous everyday life, and The Kitchen is a reflection on the daily, ritualistic household chores – the ordinary. But it is also a reflection on female identity. The video was produced together with Katarina Lindgren Cavallin and Eva-Maria Ern while Ellberg was at the Royal University College of Fine Arts. Together, they carried out a two-day performance in one of the large windows of Kulturhuset in view of passing onlookers, and documented the entire project on video.

Peter Fischli (b. 1952) and David Weiss (b. 1946) started working together in 1979. Both artists come from Zurich in Switzerland and are famous for their stunning photographs, installations, sculptures and films. The most typical trait of their work is perhaps the way in which they let the most banal, simple, commonplace objects be transformed into unusual and personal expressions of an alternative reality. A camera is perpetually present, and just when an object goes from balance to instability, they make sure to capture that moment. Fischli and Weiss have an ability to distance themselves from everyday reality, opening up new perspectives in art. This artist duo appears to use any material they come across, be it rubber, clay or anything else.

In the 1980s, they began performing scientific and playful experiments in video art, and this is characteristic of their work to this day. Their first video project was Der Geringste Widerstand (1981; The Least Resistance) in which they appeared dressed as a bear and a rat. Their characters want to become rich through art, but instead they are caught up in a detective-like situation where the focus is on issues relating to art and crime. Two years later, they finished Der Rechte Weg (1983; The right Way), featuring the same characters as the previous film, but with a different narrative. Their most popular video project is Der Lauf der Dinge (The Way Things Go) from 1987.

A recurring theme for the artists is to ask explicit questions and then transform them into art. At the exhibition in 2004 at Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in the Netherlands they showed their Fragenprojektion (1981-2002; Question Projection) which consists of twirling questions, such as, “Is there a world without me?” and “Does my car know who I am?” The questions were shown on four walls in the exhibition space, using 19 projectors.

Der Lauf der Dinge (1987)
In a warehouse with a concrete floor, a chain reaction is set in motion. The chain, lined up along 30 metres, includes a large variety of rickety objects made of different materials: rubber tyres, plastic bottles, wood boards, cans, zinc buckets and a plethora of other things. These pointless and soulless objects come to life when fire and water, gravity and chemistry are used. It is all a matter of cause and effect. But it is also about art in combination with science – an unusually successful experiment.

It is also noteworthy the film appears to have no purpose or function, apart from illustrating how things could happen. Nevertheless, it is hard to avoid asking the question: what would happen if something went wrong and the chain reaction was interrupted?

There were few women pioneers in video art in the late 1960s, but Joan Jonas, also a famous performance artist, is one of them. Jonas started her career by studying art history, sculpture and applied arts in the 1950s and 1960s. Very soon, she discovered she had a talent for visualisation, and in 1968 she made her debut as a performance artist.

The main distinguishing characteristic of Joan Jonas’ style is her use of several media, including visual arts and performance, combining these into new, startling ready-mades. In her earliest works from the late 1960s, she experiments with surfaces and perceptions, intertwining ingredients from dance and sculpture with videos and monitor installations. As a performance artist and actor, she plays with mysterious, archetypal characters, donning masks and costumes. A recurring stylistic element is the use of mirrors, a popular object for experimentation among her contemporaries in conceptual art.

Jonas devoted the first half of the 1970s to video performances, and in Organic Honey (1972-1976) the screen is used as a self-reflecting mirror. The doll-like, seductive character Organic Honey is played by Jonas, who acts and directs herself while watching her own movements on the monitor. This exploration of female identity is also a feature of Vertical Roll from 1972. Since the 1980s, Jonas has combined multimedia with performance in her work, as in the video project Volcano Saga (1989) about an ancient Icelandic woman whose dreams carry her away on many mystical adventures. Here, the live performance is transferred to the video format, but the recording was made in a studio where stills from a journey to Iceland are incorporated in the production. Jonas’ experiments with mystical female archetypes, multimedia collages and her search for a deeper dimension in a cube shaped monitor never ceases to fascinate.
Wind (1968)

Wind is one of Joan Jonas’ earliest and most seminal works. In this five-minute film a group of performance artists, including Jonas herself, struggles to move onwards along a windy beach. The gale is strong and the cloaked characters have to fight hard, but together they form a beautiful composition. The b/w film is silent and evokes early silent movies. Yet, it is entirely contemporary in its minimalism.

Since graduating from the Danish Academy of Art in 2003, Jesper Just has been exceedingly prolific in the field of video art, using anything from compact digital camcorders to 8 mm film cameras, with the film medium itself as his consistent source of inspiration. His narrative and dramaturgical short films explore themes such as identity, taboos, forbidden feelings and relationships between men, and the partial formation of gender roles through power struggles. It is a primarily male world that is portrayed. All Just’s films are shot in dusky chiaroscuro settings, and combining them with evocative background music he achieves an atmospheric, melancholic imagery.

One intriguing aspect of Just’s works is their frequent references to various cinematic genres, such as glamorous Hollywood movies, film noir, musicals and dramas. He includes cinematic clichés and conventional gender roles in his narratives, in order to challenge and deconstruct the stereotypes. The participating actors rarely follow scripts but utter word combinations or burst out in song and dance. Instead of using explicitly male cinematic behaviour such as being cold-hearted and physically strong, Just’s male characters are the opposite: emotional, tearful and extremely vulnerable.

Bliss and Heaven (2004)
The title Bliss and Heaven is a quote from Anthony Burgess´ A Clockwork Orange. Set in an apparently symbolic universe, the narrative tells of a young man who accompanies an older male driver into a truck. Inside the truck the young man is shocked – the truck has transformed into an opera house, where the driver, now wearing a blond wig, is on stage energetically singing an Olivia Newton-John tune. After a while, the driver notices that he has an audience. He appears to be agitated but continues singing to the end, and the young man applauds him appreciatively.

Bliss and Heaven raises questions concerning the young man’s relationship to the older man, along with issues of identity. That a young man is invited to share another man’s secret world possibly suggests many free interpretations connected with queerness and homoeroticism, and these free interpretations are characteristic of Just’s narratives. He problematises gender roles but does not deliver any explicit instructions on how his stories should be read – they remain surreal and enigmatic.

The South African artist William Kentridge studied at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg in the 1970s before going on to École Jaques Lecoq in Paris. Passionately interested in South African history and society, he began creating art relating to the political situation. Subjects such as apartheid, colonialism and humanism are constantly present, but in the form of commentary than illustration. Kentridge says that he is more interested in producing art that is contradictory, ambiguous or something “in which optimism is kept in check and nihilism at bay”.

Kentridge is a multifaceted artist who works with several media, from drawing to video, and preferably as a transitory process in which his figurative charcoal drawings generate a chain of moving shapes. Each drawing is made on a sheet of paper that forms the entire scene. In other words, he animates whole sequences based on one original drawing. Using a 35 mm camera, he films every change that takes place, every addition and subtraction. In this way, the existing image changes and in turn gives rise to a new narrative. These animated short films have made him South Africa’s most famous and popular artist.

At Moderna Museet Kentridge participated in the group exhibition Africa Remix (2006-2007). Later that year, he had a solo exhibition that included two installations: Fragment for Georges Méliès & Journey to the Moon (2003) and Black Box/Chambre Noire (2005). Black Box demonstrates another side of Kentridge’s multifaceted oeuvre, namely his stage sets and other theatre-related work. Using kaleidoscopes, puppets and shadow play, combining them with music, he creates a mini opera.

Journey to the Moon (2003)
7 Fragments for Georges Méliès and Journey to the Moon were created at the Baltic Art Center in Visby, and the work was named after the French innovator Georges Méliès and his most famous film from 1902 about a fictive journey to the moon. The installation consists of nine projections and can be interpreted as a homage to the oeuvre of Méliès.

Journey to the Moon is the penultimate and most complex projection, according to Kentridge. Like many of his other productions, he has used materials that are readily available, even ants. When a whole army of ants invaded Kentridge’s studio, he decided to include them in the production, as part of the artistic process. Following trails of syrup, the ants form imaginative patterns, slowly transforming Kentridge’s studio into a microcosm, a universe that can also be inverted. For this is where he came up with the idea that a film is reversible and that the objects take on new meanings when sequences are played backwards.

In the 1960s, Nauman was one of the pioneers of body art, but he is also famous as a multi-media artist. In addition to his art studies, Nauman studied physics and mathematics, before finally opting to focus on art, concentrating on fundamental reflections on the artistic process. For Nauman, the end product is not essential, but the creative process itself – the performative element.

Nauman graduated in 1966 and created one of his first works the following year – a spiral-shaped neon sign with the text “The True Artist Helps the World by Revealing Mystic Truths”. The sign was placed in the large front window of his studio, a converted supermarket, and resembled a beer sign that had previously hung there. In this way, the sign represented art that was not perceived specifically as art. An open statement that left room for multiple interpretations of a more existential nature. Combining ordinary objects with unexpected texts undeniably generates interesting communication, as does combining high and low, art and non-art, true and false, and so on. In two of Nauman’s works from the 1980s, neon tubes are again used as the creative medium.

Nauman has also produced works in which video recordings are shown as installations with screens and projections, often featuring himself personally, using his body as the object for various transformations. In the video installation Clown Torture (1987) two colour monitors and two wall projections show four different sequences of a clown being subjected to various calamities. To enhance the chaotic atmosphere, Nauman has positioned one of the screens upside-down and turned up the volume. The clowns represent four different characters, while parodying the artist’s own perplexities. The absurdity of life is reflected in the clowns’ comic pointlessness.

Art Make-Up (1967-1968)
This video consists of four wall projections mounted in a small room. The film shows only one sequence, however, but is made so that it can be looped, i.e. running non-stop. Facing the camera, Nauman paints first his face and then his chest white. The same procedure is repeated, but with pink paint, then green and, finally, black. In this way, Nauman stretches the boundaries between the masculine and feminine, since make-up is primarily associated with female rituals in Western culture. Other issues relating to identity and race also appear to be involved, along with the artist himself. For as a viewer of the video, you watch another person, who in turn looks straight at you, evoking a feeling of participating the artist’s work.

Pipilotti Rist, or Elisabeth Charlotte as she was christened, has been greatly inspired by Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking. Like Pippi, Rist has become known as a strange character, and her art is even stranger. Words like ‘colourful’ aptly describe both her outer and inner personality, and especially her lurid and powerful video projections. Since the 1980s, she has devoted herself to creating large video installations, but also smaller, more intimate projects. Her interest in video art started at an early age, and was complemented with studies in graphic art and photography at the Institute of Applied Arts in Vienna (1982-86). She also studied video production for two years at the School of Design in Basel (1986-88).

Alongside video art, music has been a crucial part of Rist’s life, and for a long period she was a member of the group Les Reines Prochaines. In the video I'm Not The Girl Who Misses Much (1986) she sings her own version of John Lennon’s “Happiness is a Warm Gun”. The video image is blurred and is repeatedly interrupted by repetitions and disturbances. The main object of the video is Rist herself singing in a high-pitched childish voice, while jumping, rocking back and forth, in a dress that leaves her breasts bare. Few video artists play such an active and central role in interaction with the visual element. Few video artists have become as adept as Rist in exploiting the total expressive potential of video. She produces, directs and acts – all in a highly entertaining manner. Commercial music videos are primarily associated with popular culture as shown on MTV, but Rist’s combination of pop music and strange visuals lifts popular culture from its context. Instead, her video projects move into the exhibition space and win appreciation for what they are: works of art.

Dreamlike and hypnotic, playful and comical, vivid imagery mixed with psychological undercurrents, are only a few phrases that describe her video works. Rist’s oeuvre has also been labelled as feminist, since she deals with subjects relating to gender and sexuality. In Blutraum (Blood Room), a video project focusing on menstrual blood, she seeks to portray blood as something natural. In another work, Ever is Over All, a young woman smashes windshields in slow motion. One of Rist’s most famous video installations is Sip my Ocean (1996), in which she performs her own hysterical version of Chris Isaak’s track “Wicked Game”. This installation was recorded under water and is a form of mirror projection. Slowly, we see through the strong blue hues how things sink in the clear water, with Rist’s falsetto voice in the background. Despite the psychedelic, hallucinatory projections of Sip my Ocean, it is both sad and funny – and poetic. It is about longing for someone and also about how hard it is to fall in love. Rist has won many awards in the course of her career, and was chosen as Artist of the Year at the Armory Show in 2007. She currently lives in Zurich, where she also has her studio, Rist Sisters.

I am a victim of this song (1995)
In this work, Rist performs a cover on Chris Isaak’s track “Wicked Game”, but this is no sleek version. On the contrary, it paraphrases his music video. As usual, Rist’s strange voice lifts the track to new heights, with a special anticlimax in the chorus, in which she cries out the words. The video is five minutes long and takes the viewer on a diary voyage. The image is shaky, but the vivid colours combined with the soundtrack keep us pinned to the fragmentary images.

It is fascinating how Pipilotti Rist appropriates this familiar and popular music by a male artiste. She takes a commercial music video, makes her own interpretation of the work and inserts it in a new context. A context that suddenly becomes art.

Image: Nathalie Djurberg, Florentin, 2004, © Nathalie Djurberg

Maria Morberg, Press Secretary
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Island of Skeppsholmen - Stockholm
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