24 June 2017 | 17.5 °C

We'll Take Our Art Lying Down

By Rob Last edited 139 months ago
We'll Take Our Art Lying Down
Rist.jpg

Anyone who's ever tried to get round Tate Modern in a day with their visiting family in tow will know how stressful modern art can be. All that walking, the mental fatigue, the fights over the bench space... it's a jungle out there!

Thank the Lord then for Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist whose latest work actually requires the viewer to lie down on a bed to view it.

The work (entitled Löndön, so she's off to a good start) is a continuation of the Homo Sapiens Sapiens installation which Rist displayed at the Venice Biennale earlier this year. That film, projected on to a ceiling of the San Stae church, depicted "Two females, Peppermint and Amber, [who] are seen as the two Eves, surrounded by voluptuous nature – a playful reference to the erotically charged iconography of Italian church art."

Opinion was divided over the piece. Howevr Rist obviously liked the format so much she's decided to bring a version of it to the Hauser & Wirth gallery, with the film acting as a continuation to the Venice show:

“My figure comes back from Eden into civilisation. She behaves similarly to the way she did in her ‘with-nature-melted-state’. While saddened by the changes in her environment, she nonetheless accepts them, being proud, hysterical and tender. It does not matter whether the performing figure is a woman or a man. My figures (always) stand as a symbol for the philosophical human being. For me the woman is the norm and the man is the exception. The figure-object has the same power as the camera-subject. The work deals with the basic wish to overcome gravity and to finally return ‘home’. It glorifies our weaknesses and shortcomings and gives us hope and tenderness. It deals with the questions of common ethics beyond and after religion.”

Did we mention there would be beds to lie on?

The Homo Sapien Sapiens exhibit runs until 17 December. Rist is giving a talk on her work tonight at the Tate Modern. Tickets are priced at £7.

Last Updated 17 November 2005