It was snowing heavily Saturday afternoon and still the line for the New Museum stretched all the way down the block and around the corner. I don’t know why I was surprised, the Pixel Forest is the most buzzed about art exhibit of the season.
We stood in line for over 30 minutes, enduring the elements of sleet and snow, on the Bowery in lower Manhattan. All this to enter the much acclaimed and photographed Pixel Forest, Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist’s latest exhibition at the New Museum.
The Pixel Forest Pipilorri Rist Exhibition
Outside icy flakes, each with a unique microscopic beauty, fell from above. Inside, glowing, color-changing plastic orbs rained down from the ceiling. I quite enjoyed this juxtaposition. There was actually a lot of juxtapostion in exhibition.
Nature VS Technology
Biologic VS Electronic
Light VS Dark
Isolation VS Community
Harsh VS SofT
Heck, it’s right there with: Pixel VS Forest
These contrasts ran through out the works on three whole floors of the New Museum highlighting Rist’s 30 years career.
I’m not going to lie, it was pretty magical being surrounded by thousands of lighted orbs. Each “pixel” corresponded exactly with one true pixel from the projected film in the corner of the large room. When the pixel changed color on screen, the hanging giant pixel would too.
Makes you remember something we take for granted: everything we see on a screen is composed of thousands, millions of tiny color-changing pixels. A technological Pointillism- Seurat was on to something.
Sorry if that sounds art snobby.
Look, here’s a selfie I snapped. A real art snob would never.
Oh but you can bet there were selfies galore in this Pixel Forest. Fitting though, as Pipilotti Rist is all for exploring our relationship with screens.
It’s like she knew that on a snow day (or any day really in 2017) all people want to do is stay in bed and stare at screens. So that what her most recent installation is.
Beds below, pond shaped screens above showing water, plant life, and occasional human flesh (in an artsy not gross way). Intimacy VS Distance. Forcing New Yorkers to lie on beds next to strangers. Not exactly Netflix and chill but its own unique experience.
Pipilotti Rist is known as a “pioneer of video art”.
Can you imagine what it must be like to start out as pioneer and soon watch everyone get their own personal video recorder in their pocket? To continue on you’d really have to push “video art” as far as you possibly can. Clearly she has.
The first floor of the exhibition was early work, the beginning of the pioneer journey, fording that first river. Video projections on hanging sheer fabric, artistic video mash-ups. Not what you leave the museum blogging about, but I always adore seeing the evolution of any artist’s work.
This exhibition was definitely worth stamping through the snow and waiting in the cold. Unfortunately, it’s only around through the end of this week- January 15th is the final day for the full exhibit.
UPDATE: from the New Museum’s Twitter: The Pixel Forest light installation and Rist’s earlier work will remain on view through Jan 22nd!
So head down if you can and be prepared for a long line! And if you can’t…at least you could live it through my blog? Photoshop yourself into the photo below?
Thrifty Tip (I wish I’d know prior to visiting): if you bring a gently used coat or pair of shoes for their clothing drive with Bowery Mission, you get free museum admission! More info on that HERE.
Admission info, hours of operation, and how to get to the New Museum in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, visit their website: http://www.newmuseum.org/visit