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Behind Your Eyelid – Pipilotti Rist
3 August 2022 - 27 November 2022$65 – $95
Tai Kwun Contemporary is delighted to announce that the large-scale exhibition Behind Your Eyelid—Pipilotti Rist will open this summer, offering visitors a deep dive into the fantastical and humorous world of the internationally renowned media artist Pipilotti Rist (b. 1962, Switzerland) from 3 August to 27 November 2022.
As Rist’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong, Behind Your Eyelid—Pipilotti Rist comprises more than 45 of her iconic works from the past thirty years—including early single-channel videos with their tongue-in-cheek humour, large-scale moving-image installations brimming with colour and music, sculptural works that merge video and everyday objects—this exhibition goes far beyond a survey of the artist’s oeuvre.
Behind Your Eyelid—Pipilotti Rist offers new site-specific commissions that will pass through the glass windows of JC Contemporary and caress the historic Tai Kwun site with gentle colours, creating a large, immersive video sculpture on the Prison Yard, animating the D Hall prison cells, and projecting a giant mural on the Parade Ground. Pipilotti Rist’s first exhibition in Hong Kong will allow visitors to experience the artist’s signature “virtual hug” of sounds, colours, and moving images that has so charmed audiences of all ages around the world, from New York (New Museum; Museum of Modern Art) to Kyoto (The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto), Los Angeles (Museum of Contemporary Art) to Sydney (Museum of Contemporary Art).
Rist’s oeuvre has long explored the possibilities of video in offering alternative visions of reality and utopia, of humans in nature, and of the relationship between the body (especially the female body) and the digital. Her works allow us to see in different ways— sweeping views, close-ups, even inside the body—while giving us a better understanding of how the aesthetics of the camera work with our whole physical being. Drawn to connections between the exterior and the interior, the artist is particularly fascinated by the intermediaries and interfaces that link the two: the camera lens, skin, and membranes of the eye. While such interfaces certainly offer indexicality for the recorded or registered image, they also blur, contort, and reshape it, which in turn opens up a creative space of speculation, reverie, and play. It is this liminal, ambivalent state that has inspired the title of the exhibition, “Behind Your Eyelid”, and which invites viewers to dive into the realm of moving images for new ways of experiencing the world. In doing so, viewers will be able to glimpse new visions with regards to personal expression, the politics of the body, and the vibrant colours of life and nature. At once comforting and humorous, yet served up with an edge, Rist’s mesmerising installations prompt joy and meditative introspection, experiences that are best when shared.
“We are privileged, after the very successful summer exhibition with Takashi Murakami, to showcase another spectacular large-scale exhibition by such an iconic artist at Tai Kwun Contemporary, not only presenting some of Pipilotti Rist’s history-making installations but also many new productions,” said Tobias Berger, curator of Behind Your Eyelid—Pipilotti Rist.
“An exhibition of the scale, complexity, and vision of Behind Your Eyelid is a major commitment for any contemporary art institution and has been in preparation for more than three years,” added Timothy Calnin, Director of Tai Kwun Arts. “As with all of Tai Kwun’s programming in arts and heritage, this signature event would not have been possible without the unwavering support of The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, who provides the core funding of the exhibition, for which we are immensely grateful. We are also very pleased to welcome our newest corporate patron Indosuez Wealth Management, whose support as Lead Sponsor of Behind Your Eyelid enhances our ability to realise the full scope and ambition of this intriguing, joyous, and uplifting summer show.”
Over the course of the exhibition, Tai Kwun Contemporary will also host a wide range of public programming and educational events. These include Tai Kwun Conversations with Pipilotti Rist (in person at Tai Kwun); a Pipilotti Rist’s Choice evening, featuring the artist’s favourite films/videos; pixel mapping and lighting workshops; Teacher’s Morning and Teacher’s Workshop; curator’s tours and other guided public tours. Of particular interest to families with children will be the Kids’ Opening and the Family Day events held throughout the run of the exhibition, while Pipilotti Rist After Hours will offer an exclusive learning experience involving special guest interpreters.
A special kiosk will also open in the JC Contemporary gallery reception area, where visitors can enjoy artist editions and merchandise. In addition to items such as masks, posters, and prints, Pipilotti Rist will also offer exhibition-related merchandise in the form of capsule toys, which will include pins, badges, sticky tape, glass cleaning cloths, and more!
ABOUT THE ARTIST / ORGANISERPipilotti Rist, a pioneer of spatial video art, was born in 1962 in Grabs, Switzerland, located in the Rhine Valley on the Austrian border, and has been a central figure within the international art scene since the mid-1980s. From her earliest video works to more recent large-scale moving-image installations, Pipilotti Rist’s highly immersive, deeply sensual, and remarkably insightful works wrap visitors in a virtual hug of sounds, colours, and moving images. Her mesmerising installations prompt meditative introspection along with joy and exhilaration, opening up explorations of the body and the image, of exterior environments and interior mindscapes.
Since 1984, Rist has displayed her work in an extensive array of solo and group exhibitions. Major solo exhibitions include Big Heartedness, Be My Neighbor at The Geffen Contemporary, MOCA, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2021 – 2022); Your Eye Is My Island at MoMAK, The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto and ART TOWER MITO (2021); Åbn min Lysning. Open my Glade at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark (2019); Sip My Ocean at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2017 – 2018); Pixel Forest at New Museum, New York (2016 – 2017); and Your Saliva is My Diving Suit of the Ocean of Pain at Kunsthaus Zürich (2016). Rist has also participated in numerous biennales, including the Venice Biennale (1997, 1999, 2011), Biennale of Sydney (2000, 2008, 2014), and the Istanbul Biennale (1997, 2000, 2007).
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