Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Coming soon to the Henry-Pipilotti Rist

From an excellent article about one of her works at MoMA.

What Richard Serra is to hard and dry, Rist is to soft and moist. Rather than only privileging the eye, as in Courbet’s yummy yoni shot The Origin of the World, Rist’s art is a full-body experience. Like Matthew Barney, who crawls like a symbiotic organism through space, or Niki de Saint Phalle and Jean Tinguely's giant reclining nude that was entered between the legs, Rist wants to turn the museum into an ecstasy machine.

In the West, however, ecstasy comes with proscriptions. Especially if it’s too female—then it’s taboo. A widely circulated rumor has it that MoMA asked Rist to edit out the red between the legs. It turns out that so-called “belly-magic” is more off-limits than mind-magic. In classical terms, the Dionysian is still more fraught than the Apollonian. Thinking about this installation without the blood is like thinking about life without blood.




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