Pipilotti Rist / Soap&Skin
Pipilotti Rist’s (b.1962) mesmerising works envelop viewers in vibrantly coloured kaleidoscopic projections that fuse the natural world with the technological sublime. Referring to her art as a ‘glorification of the wonder of evolution,” Rist maintains a deep sense of curiosity that pervades her explorations of physical and psychological experiences. Her works bring viewers into unexpected encounters with the textures and forms of the living universe.
4th Floor to Mildness (2016), shot largely underwater, is projected onto two screens hanging from the ceiling. The installation also comprises several beds scattered throughout the space, offering viewers an opportunity to immerse themselves in the work while lying alongside one another. In 2005, Rist created a digital fresco titled Homo Sapiens Sapiens to fill the entire ceiling on an eighteenth-century church in Venice, Italy. 4th Floor to Mildness similarly merges spirituality and enchantment, and includes images of floating bodies that update the iconography of Baroque ceiling frescoes.
Like many of Rist’s works, 4th Floor to Mildness juxtaposes domestic and public space, interior and exterior, to explore both the social and meditative aspects of image consumption: the installation combines the collective viewing typical of the cinema with the isolating use of computer screens and tablets. As Rist observes, ‘Today, with computers, TVs, and mobile phones, everything is flat and put behind glass – our feelings, histories, longings. We’re all separated from each other, for the human being that we are in contact with is always behind glass… but with art, we can jump out of our loneliness.”