Laini Burton, Queensland College of Art, Griffith University; "Pipilotti Rist's Metaphoric Body: Pour Your Body Out (7354 Cubic Meters)" Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist's immersive, large-scale video installations employ elements of performance art, music and sculpture that pursue an affective use of physical space. Traversing the Marron atrium in the Museum of Modern Art, New York, her compelling 2008-2009 installation Pour Your Body Out (7354 Cubic Meters) was no exception. Art critic Jerry Saltz claims Rist feminized the atrium; a space he defines as a bastion of masculinity. The consideration of feminized space invokes Gaston Bachelard's The Poetics of Space where the atrium-a space within a space-engenders the materl, domestic interior and further, implies notions of containment and delimitation while reiterating the 'Otherness' of woman. This domestication of space problematizes feminist readings of Rist's work which rely upon the writings of H鬨ne Cixous and Luce Irigaray, and which advocate female embodiment as a means of emancipation. A double entendre, Pour Your Body Out (7354 Cubic Meters) shows fluid bodies that rest precariously between the bounded and boundless, and calls into question the conditions under which work like this can be rendered into a conduit for abstract meaning. This paper explores the relationship between the body and space in Rist's work; specifically, how space is constituted through the metaphoric body of woman.

Presented at Conferences

  • Bodies of Art Conference (2010)

    Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton