The MCA’s upcoming summer exhibition is Sip My Ocean from artist Pipilotti Rist. With a background in music and set design, Rist is well known for her experimental video and multimedia-driven installation works. She has achieved international acclaim over the past 30 years.
Sip My Ocean is the most comprehensive exhibition of Rist’s work that’s ever been shown in Australia and it and will occupy the entire third floor of the museum. It will include pieces from the 1980s through to her more recent large-scale installations and kaleidoscopic projections. Works will be projected across ceilings, floors and walls.
“Early in her career she made wonderful single-channel videos largely using her own body and music,” says MCA senior curator Natasha Bullock. “Now she creates massive installations using projections.”
In work 4th Floor to Madness, visitors can lie on a bed and gaze at images of sea grass and dirt projected onto two amorphous screens hanging from the ceiling over them.
Administering Eternity involves colourful images of the Swiss countryside being projected onto veils of fabric, and the viewer’s shadow becomes part of the work. And in what Bullock describes as possibly the most spectacular work in the exhibition, visitors can wander through 3000 LED lights that hang from the ceiling like vines. Each LED is operated by a separate signal, and each reacts to music in the corresponding exhibition spaces.
“It is similar to a forest of floating lights,” Bullock explains. “Pipilotti describes it as the pixels in an image exploding into a room. She also talks about it as related to the synapses firing in your brain. It’s magical. Her work can make you feel good. It’s a breath of fresh air.”
Her work blurs the line between visual art and popular culture; references to commercial advertising and music videos highlight elements of the everyday. Visitors will be immersed in a series of artworks that explore the relationship between nature, gender, sexuality, the human body and technology.
“As an artist she is as generous, magnanimous and direct as her work is open and inclusive,” says Bullock. “We’re hoping audiences will come away with an appreciation of how the outcomes of technology can be sublime and sensual.”
Pipilotti Rist: Sip my Ocean runs from November 1 2017 to February 18, 2018. Tickets are on sale now.