The line between art and popular culture was a very looking permeable one since the advent of colour printing, photography, and film in the second-half of the 19th century. Toulouse Lautrec and Andy Warhol were both gracefully able to dance on this tightrope. Pipilotti Risto dances happily in the same zone.
Rist would have loved the tribute when Beyonce released her video for Hold Up in 2016. Beyonce, dressed in layers of yellow tulle, takes to the sidewalk. Beyonce, barefoot and holding a baseball bat in her hand, begins to smash the windows of cars that are park next to her. This is clearly a homage to Rist’s Ever Is Over All video installation, which was made in 1997 for the 47th Venice Biennale.
Twenty years later, Rist, wearing a turquoise dress and carrying an oversize flower in one hand, is seen sauntering along a footpath, smashing front windows of cars. It works wonderfully.
Simple Rhythmic Soundtrack Looking
Rist’s original video is memorable for its simple rhythmic soundtrack and Rist’s swagger. Rist adds her own layers to popular culture references, like the ruby slippers that she wears to refer to Dorothy’s trip down the Yellow Brick Road. Rist portrays a young girl with a flower spike, who anarchically wrecks cars. Her actions are support by a Policewoman and have the perfect mix of sassy confidence that Beyonce was seeking.
Rist would have found the feedback extremely satisfying. She expressed her gratitude. MTV clips have the highest respect, as they possess a power of ingenuity and a spirit that surpasses other video art.
Rist gained international attention after she was select for Aperto’93. This exhibition was curated looking by Helena Kontova, Giancarlo Polii and Achille Bonito Oliveri. Her Basel studies in audiovisual design led her to create stage sets and animated cartoons for music videos. This was in parallel with her work as a drummer in the all-girl band Les Reines Prochaines (The Next Queens). These references to popular culture began to seamlessly cross-fertilise effortlessly with her early video works.
Her name is another obvious reference in pop culture. It was borrow partly from Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi Longstocking tomboy creation and Rist’s nickname as a child Lotti, hence Pipilotti. Rist’s creative approach seems to be influence by Longstocking’s parents. Her work perfectly captures the spirit and celebration of the feminine, as the daughter of an angel, and a pirate.
Ever Is Over all is a vibrantly feminist call for arms. Rist, the protagonist, is portray as an anarchic girl/woman who grasps a flowering penphallus and delivers well-timed insults to authority. She’s graceful and elegant and she’s joyfully happy. We are drawn along by her carefree attitude and gladly join her on her adventures. It’s surprisingly liberating, and yes, it is amazing joyous!
Technically, it sits in the liminal zone between video art and music videos. It borrows some of the elements of the music video but it edged into the world of an art gallery by its installation on two screens. The film of Rist smashing car windows in an urban streetscape is juxtapose with images of exotic flowers and countryside imagery.
It creates a welcoming, welcoming environment that encourages looking complicity. It’s luscious, intense, and alluring. This is her work. We are present with an aesthetically high-tech, highly seductive world. It is a combination of the beauty of the music video with the sensuality and charm of the installation that makes it even more captivating.