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Art videos explore the pleasure and pain of love

July 29, 2002

TEMPE, Ariz. - Three art videos by Swedish video artist Pipilotti Rist will be exhibited at the ASU Art Museum this fall, as part of the museum's Photo Fall series. Pipilotti Rist: Sip My Ocean and other videos opens Aug. 31 and runs through Oct. 27.

Rist's work deals with relationships and love, the ideal and the reality, said curator John Spiak.

"Her work is about relationships - with oneself and with others - and about love - the beauty and the cruelty of it," Spiak said.

The title video, Sip My Ocean, lulls the viewer with song and visual as it is projected in mirror image, creating a somewhat kaleidoscopic experience. Rist seduces the viewer with the sensual lure of pleasure, using beautiful underwater ocean shots, peaceful submerging figures and objects slowly floating down the projected image. Her version of Chris Isaak's pop song "Wicked Game" plays in the background.

However, Rist jarringly switches from crooning to hysterical shrieking and back throughout the song, leaving the viewer with the unsettled feeling that all may not be quite as perfect as it appears in paradise.

In Pickelporno (Pimpleporno,) Rist's camera plays across the skin of two lovers, intermixed with images from nature including fruits and vegetables, giving visual form to the sensations experienced during intimacy. A background beat grows ever more rapid, peaking at the moment of climax.

Taking its title from the first line of John Lennon's "Happiness is a Warm Gun," the third video in the exhibition is a parody of female angst. What woman, attempting to fulfill today's multiple roles and responsibilities, won't relate to Rist in I'm Not the Girl Who Misses Much?

The video features a bare-breasted Rist dancing frenetically around a room. The video speed increases along with sound track, until the distorted image of Rist and the chipmunk-like soundtrack come to a sudden halt, and Rist slides in apparent exhaustion and defeat down the wall. Moments later, however, she picks herself up and recommences her mad dance, even as the image - and her world - continues to disintegrate.

Rist's videos draw on the styles of an MTV world, turning music video into a serious art form while at the same time satirizing the sexist imagery and repetitious style of those same videos. Her work has been exhibited worldwide, including Germany, Australia, Turkey and Japan, and at Italy's world-famous Venice Biennale. In the United States she has shown at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art and SITE Santa Fe.

A free public reception held in conjunction with other Photo Fall exhibitions at the ASU Art Museum is scheduled for 7-9 p.m., Sept. 20. The artist will present a gallery lecture at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 22.

The ASU Art Museum is a division of The Katherine K. Herberger College of Fine Arts at Arizona State University. It is located on the southeast corner of Mill Avenue and 10th Street, Tempe. For more information, please call 
(480) 965-2787 or visit the museum online at

When You Go:
Location: ASU Art Museum, Nelson Fine Arts Center, corner Mill Avenue and 10th Street, Tempe.
Date &Time: Pipilotti Rist: Sip My Ocean and other videos will run Aug. 31 - Oct. 27
A free public reception is scheduled for 7-9 p.m., Sept. 20.
The artist will present a gallery lecture at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 22.
Parking: Free parking is available in ASU Art Museum-marked spaces at the south end of Tempe Center, located at the NE corner of Mill Ave. and 10th St. Visitors using museum spaces must sign in at the front desk in the lobby of the Nelson Fine Arts Center. Free parking is also available on weekends and after 7 p.m. weeknights in Parking Structure #3 on Myrtle Avenue, Tempe.
Cost: Free

Media Contact:
Jennifer Pringle