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When you first hear it, Pipilotti Rist sounds like either the name of a fictional detective or a stripper.  

It’s actually a nickname given to her in middle school after the character Pippi Longstocking and it fits her better than you might think. I mean she doesn’t lift horses over her head or throw grown men across the room, but she is energetic, inventive and playful. Pipilotti is a little more adult though, in that her video art features many a nether region and intense eroticism. But what she and Pippi do have in common is the fact that everyone loves them!

Elizabeth Charlotte, which is her given name, was born in a small town in Switzerland. She grew up bopping around the Rhine and then after a painfully boring semester studying theoretical physics in Vienna, she began her art career at the Institute of Applied Arts. Rist started showing her work all around Europe in the 1980s, while simultaneously playing flute and percussion in an all-girl rock band called Les Reines Prochaines, which means 'the next queens.' (As if she weren’t cool enough.)

Her video art can be described a million different ways, but to let you get a feel for it, I’d say it was a combination of a scuba diving home video, a porno and the Planet Earth series...all to the soundtrack of a drunk mermaid chorus. But all of that is pretty useless because you’ll never "get it" until you see her work for yourself. And as for Rist, she's just a “lusty feminist flower-child” changing the art world one Instagrammable installation after the next.


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Here is what Wikipedia says about Pipilotti Rist

Monochrome Rose, Pink tramway in Geneva, public art by Pipilotti Rist

Line 71-17 detail of interior

Pipilotti Elisabeth Rist (born 21 June 1962) is a Swiss visual artist best known for creating experimental video art and installation art. Her work is often described as surreal, intimate, abstract art, having a preoccupation with the female body. Her artwork is often categorized as feminist art.

Rist's work is known for its multi-sensory qualities, with overlapping projected imagery that is highly saturated with color, paired with sound components that are part of a larger environment with spaces for viewers to rest or lounge. Rist's work often transforms the architecture or environment of a white cube gallery into a more tactile, auditory and visual experience.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Pipilotti Rist