Trip the Light Fantastic with MFAH's New Cosmic Journey Through Time and Space

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Trip the Light Fantastic with MFAH's New Cosmic Journey Through Time and Space

Last year's Yayoi Kusama exhibit was the epitome of cool. The Instagrammer's dream had us clamoring for those highly coveted and timed spots inside the polka-dotted and mirrored stalactice/stalagmite cave of Love Is Calling and the incandescent, but fleeting, fireflies of Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity.

So how does the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, top last summer's blockbuster? It's another light show for sure, but the comparisons end there. "With Kusama, it was instant. That is what Kusama wanted you to have," says Alison de Lima Greene, the Isabel Brown Wilson Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the MFAH and organizing curator of "Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forest and Worry Will Vanish."

"With Rist, she admires Kusama profoundly and will be the first to say so. But her own aesthetic is for a slower, more temporal experience," says Greene. It's also an embracing environment, with pillows on the floor so visitors can set up camp and watch thousands of hanging LED lights change color and rhythms.

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Greene tells us that, for a similar show in Europe, feather beds were provided for visitors. "In America, feather beds are not as common and in Houston, the last thing you want to be is in a big warm quilt in the summer. We changed it be be more compact."

Pixel Forest Transformer Museum of Fine Arts Houston

 

Photo by Mancia Bodner, courtesy of Kunsthaus Zürich. Artist Pipilotti Rist helped direct the installation of Pixel Forest Transformer at MFAH, which transforms the central gallery of Cullinan Hall into a cosmic journey through time and space.

The Switzerland-born Rist is no stranger to collaborations. She was once in a band (Les Reines Prochaines/Queens of the Knives) and built on her early successes with single-channel videos, evolving to two-channel projections and more recent works that combine objects, environments, images and light. "Primarily, she is a pioneer of video techniques and has been completely on the forefront in advances in digital technology," says Greene.

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Pixel Forest Transformer is a 2016 collaboration with lighting designer Kaori Kuwabara. It's also a recent acquisition for MFAH, funded by the Caroline Wiess Law Accessions Endowment Fund, though the installation viewed by Houston audiences will be unique.

"We’re very lucky that the artist is here to work with us. She is very much a collaborator. Several people from her studio are here," says Greene. "Although this work has been shown elsewhere she’s very actively engaged at making it special and unique to the architecture of Cullinan Hall. We’re going to have a large curtain in front of the hall to control the natural light; a deep forest green."

Pixel Forest Transformer Museum of Fine Arts Houston

Photo by Maris Hutchinson, EPW Studio, courtesy of New Museum. Lighting designer Kaori Kuwabara collaborated with Rist in creating Pixel Forest Transformer, where thousands of hanging LED lights are controlled by a video signal, with lights sometimes shifting in a staccato rhythm and sometimes in waves of color.

Worry Will Vanish Dissolution Museum of Fine Arts Houston

Photo by Alex Delfanne. Also on view this summer is Worry Will Vanish Dissolution, by Pipilotti Rist, a two-channel video and sound installation (ed. 3/3) that wraps the corner in a cosmic embrace.

Continue Reading Original Story: Via Houston Press by Susie Tommaney

 


1 comment

  • Krystal

    When is this upcoming running?

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