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Pipilotti Rist

Pipilotti Rist (born 21 June 1962) is a Swiss artist who named herself after Pippi Longstocking. Like Pippi Longstocking, she sees herself as a woman who explores the world in a playful way. This world-famous artist’s colourful work has been seen in numerous top museums. In Rotterdam, too, where ‘Elixir’, a major retrospective of her work, was staged in 2009. Now, more than ten years later, Rist is working with Boijmans again. This time she designed a video installation for the exterior of the new Depot Boijmans Van Beuningen. Her artwork ‘Het leven verspillen aan jou’ is a mix of video and environmental art.

The video light installation illuminates part of the public area around the depot from sunset to late at night. Rist invites you to dance and play with her.

We followed Pipilotti Rist at various times when Rist and her team (in particular Victoria Holdt, Andreas Lechthaler, Danielle Küchler Flores, Nike Dreyer, Sebastian Köpf and Marco Mooren) were working at the project in Rotterdam. This this special process is captured in an extensive video portrait that filmmaker Ruben Hamelink and Jeanette Verdonk have made of Pipilotti Rist. The entire project has also been beautifully captured by photographer Aad Hoogendoorn.

An Electronic Bonfire

‘The artwork for the depot is a mix of video and site-specific art that will illuminate the public space around the depot from sunset to late in the evening. The light will caress the bodies of guests, visitors, residents and passers-by and give them the opportunity to interrupt their evening routines, to pause and contemplate their surroundings in a new way. The slowly moving lights will help you to step out of your private bubble and invite you to interact – to take a shower together in the coloured light. The projections encircle the depot with beautiful video scenes and reflect in its mirrored façade. This is why I call this installation an “urban electronic bonfire”.’

‘I want to use my work to provide an attractive play area, which is free and open to everyone and offers a visual as well as a sensual experience.’ ‘My underlying vision is to create an aesthetic interaction between the depot and the surroundings, while at the same time offering a new perspective on film and video as a medium. The interplay between the mirrored surface of the building and the floating videos on the ground and on the planting will be unprecedented and cast a dreamlike light on the area at night.’

Colourful world

Anyone who meets Pipilotti Rist for the first time is likely to describe her as a colourful person. Her work is a reflection of her personality. Since her graduation project, the video 'I’m Not the Girl Who Misses Much', she has achieved international fame for her immersive video installations, including 'À la belle étoile (Under the Sky)', which was projected onto the ground of the piazza in front of the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and The City Lounge, which she designed in 2005 together with architect Carlos Martinez for St. Gallen in Switzerland. In addition to her work as a video artist, she was also a member of the pop group Les Reines Prochaines (The Next Queens). Her own singing and music collaborations can be heard in several of her works. She had a retrospective exhibition, entitled Elixir, at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in 2009. And in the museum she had a permanent installation ‘Let Your Hair Down’, the installation she made at the top of the stairs, where visitors climbed in a net and then lied in it to watch videos by her and other artists.

Thanks to

‘Het Leven Verspillen Aan Jou’ has been made possible with support of Piet van der Slikke and Sandra Swelheim and with contributions from the Boijmans Business Club and Kring Van Eyck.

Depot design together with artists

Boijmans is collaborating with artists John Körmeling and Marieke van Diemen on the furnishing of the depot. Körmeling designed the entrance area with the shop and Van Diemen The Maze with thirteen floating display cases for artworks. The entire making process and the placement of the works in the depot are illustrated with extensive video portraits of the artists and photo albums of the projects. Please also take a look at the furnishing projects by John Körmeling and Marieke van Diemen here.

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