Pipilotti Rist

FACT Centre, Wood Street
27th June - 31st August 2008

Reviewed by Alison Cornmell

As a general rule I stay away from illegal intoxicants, mainly due to the Grange Hill’s indoctrinating song ‘Just Say No!’…poor Zammo! I cope pretty well without dabbling in mind altering substances but sometimes I wonder whether I’m missing out. But a trip to FACT to see the Pipilotti Rist Exhibition made me realise sometimes you don’t need drugs to alter your perception.

The media lounge houses The Room where viewers can sit on an oversized armchair next to a giant lamp giving out a dim light. A telly sits in the corner that shows strange images some are disturbing, some are funny and the whole thing is quirky. Gravity Be My Friend is next door in gallery 1 and this is literally one of the best things I’ve ever seen. As I entered the space I saw a row of shoes (don’t get too excited there wasn’t a bouncy castle in there), I was asked to take mine off so I could walk on the carpeted floor onto the small hills made of carpets which you are invited to lie down on and watch the projection screen on the ceiling. The film being screened took me on dizzying journey, giving the strange sensation of feeling slightly nauseous whilst simultaneously feeling very serene. Upstairs was just as quirky and unusual with a video playing of a woman smashing car windows with what looked like a huge fake flower.

This exhibition was humorous, unusual, dreamlike and engaged me like no other exhibition has done before. It had a generous spirit as the exhibition is completely for the viewer and is not an ego trip for the artist as other exhibitions I see now can be. I’ll definitely be returning for my fix of mind altering entertainment that is perfectly legal.

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