2013.10.07 Mon, by Translated by: 顾灵
Postcard from Guangzhou

“Gentle Wave in Your Eye Fluid”: Pipilotti Rist solo exhibition.

Guangdong Times Museum (Times Rose Garden III, Huangbianbei Road, Baiyun Avenue, Guangzhou, China) Sep 15–Dec 8, 2013

Pipilotti Rist’s work suits Guangzhou. All the swirling colors and trippy close-ups of flowers, sky, cloth and fecund earth complement a visit to this southern city, where deep pink flowers wave by the roadside and creepers cover the flyovers. “Gentle Wave In Your Eye Fluid” is the title of the exhibition, characteristic of Rist’s goggling mode.

This verdant art is a relief from the greyness and slim vegetation in Beijing, and also – dare one say it – from its conceptually uptight and sometimes visually un-generous art scene. The Swiss artist, now 51, has long been in the business of visual seduction – her own very particular brand of which is beautifully and carefully displayed at the Guangdong Times Museum until mid-December.

Pipilotti Rist, “Mercy Mercy”, audio video installation (music by Heinz Rohrer), 2013. Courtesy the artist, Hauser & Wirth and Luhring Augustine New York.

The main space of this Rem Koolhaas-designed museum is host to a row of 13 projectors, which beam kaleidoscopic video onto the opposite wall. For the opening, a huge transparent table and chairs was placed down the middle of the long room in front of the swirling images, with guests (journos, gallerists, museum people and the widely-smiling, omnipresent collector Richard Chang, who was somehow involved) asked to swap sides at dessert to afford all an aesthetic backdrop to their conversation partners. At one point, Rist slipped amongst her dinner guests with a hand-held camera, gleaning the sort of close-ups of eyes and lips she so savors.

In the other two rooms—the glass walls of which overlook the city—were a screen in the floor and a small plinth holding an assortment of glass orbs of different sizes. Rist conceives of these like lenses through which to look at the view, and fun it was to indulge her.

Pipilotti Rist, “Relax your Eyeball”, installation (optical lenses, glass, crystal, fisherman thread, table), 2013. Courtesy the artist, Hauser & Wirth and Luhring Augustine New York.

A happy opening party saw local residents gather at the base of the building for a music show. Part of the museum’s remit is to be “in the community” – an aim often bandied round the PR table but seldom so simply and directly enacted as by sticking a museum on top of people’s apartments.

Pipilotti Rist, “Open Air (A la belle étoile)”, audio video installation, projection onto the floor, 2013. Courtesy the artist, Hauser & Wirth and Luhring Augustine New York.