Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist has some experience with unusual locations. She has been presenting her works in churches and on LED billboards, and her videos often emerge in unexpected places such as toilets, liquor bottles, and handbags. For her latest project for Fondazione Nicola Trussardi she uses the interior of the historic Cinema Manzoni in Milan, Italy as surface for her video projections.
Parasimpatico is the first major solo exhibition by Pipilotti Rist in Italy. The project combines old and new work. Pipilotti Rist wraps the spaces of the Cinema Manzoni in a new skin of images. In combination with the Manzoni’s interior architecture and decoration, Rist creates an immersive experience of light, color, movement, and sound.
In the lobby of the former movie theater the Cape Cod Chandelier (2011) welcomes the visitors. Moving up the grand a machine blows soap bubbles at the audience (Nothing, 1999). The video installation Lobe Of The Lung (2009) is projected onto the undulating surface of the ceiling. The journey through Pipilotti Rist’s universe continues in the foyer with the video installations Rain Woman (I Am Called A Plant) (1999) and Sip My Ocean (1996).
For those going to the restrooms, there are two video monitors in the restrooms presenting Solution For Man and Solution For Woman (both 2011). Finally, the great auditorium houses three major video works. Open My Glade (Flatten) (2000), a giant self-portrait is projected on the original, panoramic screen of the theater. Across the entire ceiling and walls Pipilotti Rist projects parts of the human anatomy (Extremities, 1999). Finally, the work Homo Sapiens Sapiens (2005) is projected in the lunette near the balcony, on a fresco by Nicolí² Segota.
Pipilotti Rist was born in Grabs, Switzerland in 1962. The artist lives and works in Zürich and Sommerset. As a child, Elisabeth Charlotte Rist was fascinated by Astrid Lindgren’s character Pippi Longstocking. She decided to adopt the unconventional name Pipilotti, which combines Pipi and Lotti, a nickname for Charlotte. Pipilotti Rist studied applied arts, illustration, photography and visual communication in Vienna and Basel. Apart from her career as visual artist, she also has been member of the all-female rock band Les Reines Prochaines.
Pipilotti Rist’s work has been shown in the world’s leading art institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. She has participated in major art events such as the biennials in Venice, Sydney, Istanbul, Moscow, Shanghai, Berlin, Lyon and Sao Paulo. Currently, Pipilotti Rist has a solo show (Eyeball Massage) at the Hayward Gallery in London.
For over fifty years the Cinema Manzoni was one of the most important movie theaters in Milan. The richly decorated and frescoed movie theater was designed by architect Alziro Bergonzo. It opened in 1950 and immediately came to be seen as the most elegant movie theater in the city. It was used as location for important films such as Michelangelo Antonioni’s Story of a Love Affair (1950) and The Lady Without Camelias (1952). The Cinema Manzoni definitively closed in September 2006 and now awaits transformation. Thus, Pipilotti Rist’s exhibition is a unique opportunity to see the spaces of the former Cinema Manzoni in their original state.
With Pipilott Rist’s Parasimpatico, the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi continues its concept of rediscovering forgotten places and hidden treasures in the heart of the city of Milan and bringing them back to life through contemporary art. Previous artists involved have been Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset, Darren Almond, Maurizio Cattelan, John Bock, Urs Fischer, Anri Sala, Paola Pivi, Martin Creed, Pawel Althamer, Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Tino Sehgal, Tacita Dean, and Paul McCarthy.
Pipilotti Rist: Parasimpatico at the former Cinema Manzoni runs until December 18, 2011. The exhibition has been curated by Massimiliano Gioni.
Pipilotti Rist: Parasimpatico. Presented by Fondazione Nicola Trussardi at the former Cinema Manzoni in Milan / Italy. Opening reception, November 8, 2011.
PS: Interview with Pipilotti Rist coming soon.
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