Born in Grabs, Switzerland, Pipilotti Rist is a videographer famous for her colourful videos and art installations. Her work has been exhibited across the globe and explores the correlation between the human body and nature.
Pipilotti Rist was given the birth name Elizabeth Charlotte Rist but just before entering art school, she took the name Pipilotti – a combination between her childhood nickname Lotti and Pippi Longstocking – the famous Swedish children’s character. Pippi Longstocking is the strongest girl in the world, opinionated and determined – attributes Pipilotti identified with.
During 1982 – 1986 Pipilotti studied commercial art, illustration and photography at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. She later continued to study videography at the Basel School of Design.
Pipilotti’s work is often described as feminist art with an underlying message of social critique. Her playful videos and installations are usually exhibited in spaces accessible to a broad audience such as on the South Bank in London and at the entrance of Centre de Pompidou in Paris, where she projected a video onto the ground.
In an interview with the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art she said that she wants to treat public spaces as collective living rooms, and wants to get away from white, clinical galleries.
Pipilotti’s light installation, which exhibited outside Queen Elizabeth’s Hall in 2011, focused on hips as they are “the most ambivalent and complex part of the body” and a vital part of human birth. Pipilotti has previously explored themes such as gender identity and sexuality via video and hypnotic music.