Pipilotti Rist b. 1960
Entslastlungen AKA Pipilolottis Fehler (1988)
A nursery rhyme or a poem? displayed over a royal blue background the words "I see. You see. I see you seeing. You see me seeing. I want to show what I see. You want to show what you see. Nirvana in the rose garden".
Then the sound starts, a powerful woman's voice repeats the words after they are written on the screen, singing them in German. The enunciation of each phase is marked by a drum roll. Images also appear very abruptly -- the face of Pipilotti, dirty, hatched with white lines and saturation blotches. Then the same nursery rhyme appears again displayed on a blue background, this time in English. And the same voice repeats the line in German in almost exactly the same way as before. We gradually distinguish the images of a concert (the titles tell us that this group is the Reines Prochaines, the musical performance group that Pipilotti established, and which she had belonged to for many years. The tone changes and a new text appears in English "Are you good, are you bad. Are you big, are you small" and a ritonello on the electric organ plays at the same time. The image makes a central superimposed rectangle appear, in which we see Pipilotti outside in the middle of garden amidst huge flowers. Suddenly she falls, collapsing as if fainting. Further away on the side-walk in the middle of a square she falls again. The film closes with a firework, accompanied by the thunderous music provided by the Reines. Translated the title of the film means Pipilotti's faults (appeasement). The texts point us towards a critical perception of visual elements, the underline the absolute subjectivity of the view, and ironies about a paradise of shared visions. Moreover the musical performance of the Reines Prochaines is based (as with all their concerts) on the subversive usage of the most common visual form, la television. With the stereotype of the muscular rocker and the sexy singer, the Reines oppose provocative female groups, inasmuch as they can barely sing or play at all and produce songs with politically radical lyrics (or totally na•ve lyrics). The faults of Pipilotti -- the faults of all little girls (remember here that Charlotte Rist was called Pipilotti by analogy with the heroin of her childhood, Pippi Longstocking) are absolutions at the famous downfalls, from which a new woman might be born. This video which is also a bit cryptic reflects in mirror like fashion the key elements of Pipilloti's work -- music, visual art, individual and collective production without defining any clear boundaries. (LLH)