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Pipilotti Rist, Wunderlampe [Magic Lamp], 1993 (Photo: Serge Hasenböhler)

Pipilotti Rist

Pipilotti Rist’s installation Wunderlampe (Magic Lamp, 1993) consists of a monitor fastened to a metal pedestal that makes the television look like a floor lamp. An ordinary television set was converted into an item of furniture in the artist’s studio. The monitor’s screen is covered by a rectangular lampshade of transparent plastic whose prismatic structure alters the video image. The visible result whenever the monitor is transmitting video is a flickering, rhythmic, abstract image. In the artist’s words:

“The television is a magic lamp. Now and again, the box wants to be more than just a small, limited mirror on the world. This lamp wants to bubble, floor, hum, spark, tremble, scream, and glow in wonderful colors and forms.”

Pipilotti Rist is one of a small number of artists from Switzerland who have received a great deal of attention internationally for many years. She was born in 1962 and raised in the Rhine Valley. In 1988 she completed the audiovisual design program at the Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst in Basel under René Pulfer. Prior to that she studied at the Universität für Angewandte Kunst in Vienna in the master class for commercial, illustration, and photographic graphic arts. Today she lives and works with her family in Zurich. Her works can be found in numerous public and private collections worldwide. [...]


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