Pipilotti Rist’s “Pixel Forest”: New Museum, Exhibition Review

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The Pipilotti Rist exhibit at the New Museum is made up of a variety of different large- scale video installations. All were non-conventional projections of film, some on the ceiling, some being on the wall or in secluded boxes. Many of the installations had places where you could sit comfortably either on the floor with pillows or on beds. The comfortable setting invites you to spend long periods watching the videos which is necessary to gain an understanding of what they are really about. Many of the pieces seem to have a deeper meaning that could only be recognized through watching them repeatedly because they have no dialogue or storyline like traditional films. Instead, the projections show organic scenes from Nature and some have a cast of seemingly random characters. For example, one of the pieces projected onto the corner of a room features an upper class white woman with expensive attire skipping along a road with a large stick of plant matter, smashing all the windows of the parked cars along the street. Upon coming across a police officer both smile at each other and continue onward. You can tell the cars are of poor quality suggesting that the setting is in a poor neighborhood. This represents how the upper class can destroy the lower class without any repercussions.

In comparison “Pixel Forest” isn’t an actual video but is a whole gallery installation saturated with l.e.d bulbs with changing colors hanging from the ceiling on strings. When you enter the darkened room, you are immediately surrounded by the changing lights as you walk into the space. The warm glowing lights give a feeling of wonder and excitement, like seeing holiday decorations. When the lights were blue it felt as if you were at the bottom of the ocean and when they became red and orange you felt as if you were looking up at a giant jellyfish, seeing all of its tendrils hanging down glowing in the blackness of the ocean.

I highly recommend this exhibition to anyone with an explorative nature because “Pixel Forest” is open to many personal interpretations.

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