A couple of pieces of note recently in the New York Times. First was yesterday's profile of Swiss artist Pipilotta Rist, which appeared at considerable length in the magazine. For those of you who don't know Rist, she was the girl-wonder of the past decade's video scene (with apologies to Candice Breitz) gaining notoreity for her cheeky, exuberant and remarkably lush pieces on urbanity, freedom and the more-than-occasional moments when the two are at odds.
If you remember anything, it might be "Ever Is Over All," owned and displayed by Ydessa Hendeles at her King Street West foundation from time to time, in which a gleeful woman in a robin's egg blue taffeta dress skips down the street to some joyous marching music, smashing out car windows with a long -- and apparently rock-hard -- flower stalk as she goes; or "Sip My Ocean," in which Rist bobs in brilliant blue seas wearing a bikini while warbling Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game." It probably hasn't hurt her mainstream success that Rist is, in the parlance of our times, totally hot.
Some years ago, the Montreal Musee de Beaux Arts had a major survey of Rist's work, which I wrote about when I was editing the National Post's dearly departed (or at least much-diminished) Avenue section; the above is the image I used, from "Sip My Ocean." It was striking, remarkable, fun, and full of surprisingly angst-y post-modern depth. In the Times, the piece deals with many of those same works, and some new ones I haven't seen; but the headline should tell you what you need to know: "The Uncomfortably Initimate Art of Pipililotti Rist," it says. I'd be happy to get uncomfortable again any time.