Pipilotti RistSwiss (Grabs, Switzerland, 1962)
Stir Heart, Rinse Heart
Rist works primarily with video and sound installations. Throughout her career she has explored the relationship between real and imaginary space, investigating new ways to free video images from the "frame" of the monitor.
Stir Heart, Rinse Heart, a site-specific installation created especially for SFMOMA, combines multiple video projections with everyday disposable containers, and suggests a permeability of the boundaries we usually take for granted: between inside and outside, body and landscape, nature and culture.
In one set of projections, Rist skillfully blends the infinitely small with the very large by layering recordings of urban and mountainous vistas from her native Switzerland with footage of human viscera. The imagery of the body's interior was produced in collaboration with a team of doctors using endoscopic cameras, ultrasound, magnetic resonance, microscopes, and X-rays.
An adjacent space features video footage projected onto medical containers for fluids of all kinds. Various kinds of fruit are scattered about on the floor below, as if ritual offerings in some unknown rite. Shadowy figures in the video intermingle with the shadows cast by the containers as well as by visitors to the space.
The overall effect of translucency and layering functions as a metaphor for the increasingly complex fluidity of everyday life, where the difference between natural and human-made is frequently indecipherable, where reality is a sum of collective and individual histories, and where rational thinking blends with imagination.