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FEET DON’T FAIL ME NOW
by Charlie Finch
 
I took off my shoes and walked across the white carpet on the second floor atrium of the Museum of Modern Art. I sat on the circular blue sofa with a hundred other shoeless people and fell into the dream that is Pipilotti Rist.

Bright, colorful projections of muddy, naked feet ambled through the video grass streaming largely across the wall, a 21st-century Water Lilies. A woman mouthed an apple in a field of violets. Everything as if up close. Orange membranes drip through a sea of pink toes, massaging my mind.

A man leaps across my shoulder from the sunken center of the huge blue sofa and over the white carpet to grab his shoes, as everything around me drips into the present tense. All is relaxing and resigned to its fate. Walt Whitman sings in my ear, "This is the best show you have ever experienced." Walt Whitman is a giant piglet rambling along the wall, orange tulips bleeding through the wall in stunned, morphing bliss.

What is the message when there is no message? From the Rist walls, soft music drones, "It is what it is." A Japanese man in a jester’s hat shakes his bells and a girl in a white dress leaps over my shoulder. A guard tells me to pull up my socks. They are crawling across the floor. I tell Jeffrey Deitch, "Take off your shoes," but he won’t do it.

Rist never sleeps. Rist is the antidote to a bad economy, a small tower of golden dust, a pillar of sparkles. There are druglike vapors rising from the white carpet in a hymn of blissful sleep, as the giant tulips sway as if to say, "Dream, dream dream again into the broken night."

"Pipilotti Rist: Pour Your Body Out (7,354 Cubic Meters)," Nov. 19, 2008-Feb. 2, 2009, at the Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, New York, N.Y. 10019.


CHARLIE FINCH is co-author of Most Art Sucks: Five Years of Coagula (Smart Art Press).



 



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