Emerging in the 1990s as part of a generation of artists who have explored the connection between technology, nature and the spectacle of ubiquitous images in contemporary societies, Rist is celebrated internationally for her video installations, which combine immersive projections and communal experiences of dreamlike contemplation. For Electric Idyll, Rist develops the exhibition as a hypnotic diorama—an all-encompassing digital landscape in which new participatory pieces are presented in dialogue with some of her most celebrated works.
Electric Idyll is Pipilotti Rist’s first survey exhibition in the Middle East. Conceived as a site-specific installation designed for Fire Station’s gallery spaces, the exhibition brings together historical works and new productions by the renowned Swiss-born artist.
Bookended by Ever is Over All (1997)—the video installation that won Rist the prestigious award for best young artist at the Venice Biennale in 1997—and one of Rist’s recent vast digital panoramas,Worry Will Vanish (2014), the exhibition maps a multisensory journey through nature, gender and technology. Enveloped by multicoloured textile wall paintings and curtains, the show is dotted by a series of ‘electric islands’, as the artist describes them: interactive displays in which video projections, pieces of furniture, carpets and domestic objects are used to create large still lifes that can be engaged by the audience. In these ‘living rooms’—spaces that are both alive and to be lived in—videos are projected onto viewers, effectively turning them and every surface into screens and carriers of images. These and the other works on display continue Rist’s expansive research into the intersection of human senses and digital technologies, imagining a future in which the biological and the electronic meet in a new body electric.
Electric Idyll marks the second major production of Rist’s work in Doha, following the installation Your Brain to Me, My Brain to You (2022), which will remain on view at the National Museum of Qatar during the presentation of this exhibition.
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