Friendly Game - Electronic Feelings
The Fundació Joan Miró and the Fundació Caixa Girona present Friendly Game – Electronic Feelings, an exhibition by Swiss artist, Pipilotti Rist, winner of the 2009 Joan Miró Prize. The show is organised by the Fundació Joan Miró and sponsored by the Fundació Caixa Girona with the support of writer and art collector, Han Nefkens.
Pipilotti Rist was awarded the 2009 Joan Miró Prize for her wide-ranging creative curiousity and her outstanding contribution to the current art scene. The jury's unanimous decision was based on the fact that "over the last twenty years Pipilotti Rist has never ceased to surprise and provoke us with her artistic explorations that delve into psychic and aesthetic landscapes, while penetrating the deepest strata of both our personal and collective consciousness, often straddling them both in a forceful and elusive manner."
Friendly Game – Electronic Feelings is the artist's most extensive exhibition ever presented in Spain. The show comprises thirteen video installations—ten at the Fundació Joan Miró and three at the Centre Cultural de Caixa Girona—presenting a broad and complete view of Pipilotti Rist's artistic trajectory to date.
Two of Rist works presented at the Fundació Joan Miró, Doble llum and Temps lliure, were created especially for this exhibition. The first offers a dialogue between Rist and Joan Miró through a video projection on Miró's sculpture, Femme, dating from 1968 and a part of the Fundació's permanent collection. This piece is Han Nefkens' first donation of an artwork to Spain and will become part of the Fundació Miró's collection. Temps lliure, the other work created for this exhibition, is a forest of words that, in the artist's views, "try to clean the visitors' brains and guide them." Because Rist always names her works in the language of the country in which they are first shown, both pieces are titled in Catalan.
Pipilotti Rist (Grabs, Switzerland, 1962) has shown her works in museums around the world, including the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the MoMA in New York and Rotterdam's Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum. Rist's first feature-length film, Pepperminta, premiered in September 2009. Included among the artist's forthcoming works is a ceiling piece for Jean Nouvel's building in Vienna (Praterstrasse 1), scheduled to open in October 2010.
Accompanying the exhibition is a book by the artist also titled Friendly Game – Electronic Feelings, produced by Han Nefkens and designed by Thomas Rhyner of the Atelier Rist. The book includes photographs of the artist's works shown in both museum spaces together with poems by Pipilotti Rist and essays by Martina Millà, Han Nefkens and Karin Seinsoth.
This exhibition submerges us in Rist’s colourful universe. The exhibition begins with two small video installations, Porqué te vas? (nass) Why Are You Going? (Wet) (2003) and Grabstein für RW Tombstone for RW (2004), and then moves on to one of the artist’s best-known works, Sip My Ocean (1996). This piece uses two walls that meet in a corner of the room, serving as large screens onto which are projected an underwater scene with people swimming around to the sound of Pipilotti Rist’s hypnotic voice singing Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game. This work speaks about our deep lifelong wish to understand each other completely and our nearly impossible desire to be synchronic.
In Tyngdkraft, var min vän Gravity, Be My Friend (2007), people and leaves float in space. The title is an invitation to reflect on the force of gravity while lying back and watching the projections on two amorphous ceiling panels. Do we see and hear differently when our muscles are relaxed?
The next installation in the exhibition is Ginas Mobile Gina’s Mobile (2007), a mobile formed by a branch, a copper globe and a plexiglass tear, across which projections of large-scale vulvas travel; because of the uncommon paleness of the images, they are not easy to recognise and thus are deprived of their usual connotations. Here the artist gently questions social fears and taboos.
The following installation, Regenfrau (I Am Called A Plant) Rain Woman (I Am Called A Plant) (1999), also addresses the subject of communion with nature. In this case the artist contrasts organic life, represented by a naked vulnerable body lying on the street in the rain, with the domesticity and sterility of an immense kitchen, onto which the video is projected.
The show ends with À la belle étoile Under The Sky (2007), a projection onto the museum floor, and with Doble llum, the work that will remain a part of the Fundació Joan Miró’s permanent collection.
Pipilotti Rist is also showing three works at Fontana d’Or, in Girona. The first is Ever Is Over All (1997), two overlapping projections that show a field of red flowers and, respectively, a woman happily walking down the street. She is brandishing one of the flowers and with it breaks the windows of cars parked along the sidewalk as though that were a normal, everyday activity. The installation addresses stereotypical ideas of property and rules of behaviour. The cars stand for obstacles that are all too seldom questioned.
Lap Lamp (2006) is a video installation using a standing lamp that projects a tree-filled field, broken wood and nettles onto the visitor’s lap, caressing her/him. The work is a face-off between the rigidity of physical confinement and the desire for psychological freedom.
And lastly, Deine Raumkapsel Your Space Capsule (2006) is a work that looks like a shipping box from outside. But within it is a miniature bedroom, seemingly recently abandoned, with a star-filled sky and an emerging moon on the walls. A video projection moves over the walls showing slow-motion sequences of people of all ages interacting with each other, against the background sounds of wind and sacred music.
Image: Pipilotti Rist, Sip My Ocean, 1996
Installation view at Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona
Photo: Pere Pratdesaba, Fundació Joan Miró
Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
Press Preview Wednesday, July 7 at 12 noon
Opening Wednesday, July 7 at 8:30 p.m.
Fundació Joan Miró
Parc de Montjuïc s/n, 08038 Barcelona
Hours: Tue-sat 10-19 (oct-june), 10-20 (july-sept)
Centre Cultural de Caixa Girona
C/ Ciutadans, 19, 17004 Girona