Kunsthaus is one of the important art museums in Switzerland. Besides the permanent collection, the museum always features special exhibitions of international artists. These exhibitions range from Claude Monet to contemporary video artists. One of those video artists is Pipilotti Rist. Born 1962 in Switzerland, she became an internationally renowned pioneer in video art in the 1980s. She lives in Zurich, but this is the only large solo exhibition in the city in 15 years.
Her exhibition named “Your Saliva is my Diving Suit in the Ocean of Pain” is currently on display and that’s what we went to see today – judging from the endless queue at the entrance we did that probably together with half of the Swiss population.
Sometimes, I find modern art hard to understand and cannot really distinguish between art and upcycled garbage. I know, art critics will shake their heads about my ignorance, but I can’t help it. Some “things” just do not connect with me on any level.
Honestly, in the case of Pipilotti Rist I still haven’t made up my mind whether she is mad or a genius. Looking at her international success I suspect it must be the latter. Her installations at Kunsthaus Zurich are crazy and colorful. The exhibition speaks to all your senses. It is emotional, visually overwhelming and quite playful. There are many things to discover. Besides all those colorful installations it is also very dark but I guess that’s part of the magic.
The exhibition is divided in three parts. When you enter room – the very dark room – you find yourself in the midst of a video installation. The videos are projected on the floor, on the wall and on white drapes spread around the room. All I remember is a calming sound, a video of a naked woman on the floor and sheep all around me. Sounds weird? Yes, it was. But it was a positive shock that transported me immediately into her world.
The next room is organized like a loft apartment. There are dedicated areas where you can sit down and discover. Phenomenal! Really well done. Among the many, many exhibits, my favorites are the dining table with the chandelier of underpants and the bed with the universe projection. Really fun and inspiring. You can spend hours in there.
Bed of universe
The third room is very different again. A kind of forest of acryl covered LED lights, changing in colors and intensity, create a magic atmosphere. At the end of the path through the forest of lights, there is a large carpet area with cushions where you can rest and chill out while watching some of her video art on super-sized projection walls.
After leaving the dark area again, you will find yourself back in real life. Today, this was the museum’s foyer with the never ending queue of visitors, a large number of coffee drinkers and a horde of wardrobe searchers.
Thank you Pipilotti Rist for sharing your wild imagination and for taking me into a different world today.
If you are interested take the chance and visit the exhibition, which will run until May 8, 2016.
More information on Kunsthaus Zurich: http://www.kunsthaus.ch/en/
More information on Pipilotti Rist: http://pipilottirist.net/