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Pipilotti Rist at MOCA

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Originally slated to open in February 2020, a solo show by Zürich-based artist Pipilotti Rist has just opened at the Geffen Contemporary, MOCA’s downtown warehouse space. The exhibition, titled “Big Heartedness, Be My Neighbor,” is a 30-year retrospective, yet unlike many retrospectives that follow a dry chronological order, “Big Heartedness” stacks Rist’s work together in a layered and immersive display. Walking into the Geffen, the installation puts you outside again with two large building facades and a house exterior on which moody videos project. On one of them, video monitors are inset as windows, each a portal to Rist’s otherworldly slow motion landscapes which meld the body with the natural world. 

From this main atrium, viewers can lose themselves down various pathways and interior rooms: Walk through the transfixing “Pixelwald Motherboard (Pixel Forest Mutterplatte),” an experiential light installation, to reach one inner sanctum where Rist’s iconic “Ever is Over All,” plays. Follow an oversized curtain to enter a “living room” space in which Rist’s films splay over beds and couches, while small arrangements on nearby shelves invite you to search for hidden surprises. Together the exhibition is an expansive celebration of video’s potential to become sensual, abstract, layered, and deeply connected to the body.

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Photo: Installation view, Louisiana Museum, Pipilotti Rist, “Åbn min lysning (Open My Glade),” Humlebæk, Denmark, 2019. Photo by Poul Buchard. © Pipilotti Rist. Courtesy the artist, Hauser & Wirth, and Luhring Augustine.