Pipilotti Rist – Congratulations!


Prologue by David Neuman, Director Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall
Portrait of Pipilotti Rist, interview by Richard Julin, Chief Curator Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall

Exhibition catalogue no 36
No of pages: 160, color, illustrated
hard cover
Graphic design: Fellow Designers

Language: English (also available in Swedish and German)
Year: 2007
Publisher: Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall and Lars Müller Publishers
ISBN English edition: 978-3-03778-108-1
ISBN Swedish edition978-91-976646-0-8
ISBN German edition

English and Swedish editions are available for purchase in our museum entrance for 300 SEK (approx. 30 EUR)
German edition OUT OF PRINT


Portrait of Pipilotti Rist by Richard Julin

(…) Richard: I’d like to mention something about your behaviour that strikes me every time we meet. It’s a kind of emphatic respect you show towards everyone around you. It’s in the way you speak but also in the way you act. For instance, you hold the door open for everyone! I believe this respectful behaviour towards others is also echoed in your art. Does what I’m saying feel like a fair description of you?

Pipilotti: For me the question of ethics and motivation is of burning interest as I am currently in a phase of upheaval and change. There is a political stance that affects my work, and a personal one. The moment one talks about certain things they can lose their innocence – like when someone says you are so spontaneous, you are so warm-hearted, or you are so attentive… For me this is about morality or an ethics of behaviour, something you don’t talk about. It reflects the way you see people. Then there is your political attitude. Somewhere in between all kinds of errors in the system light up. I had to learn that there’s no such thing as the right ideology. I’m suspicious of people who lump together morality and their vision of an ideal world into a single, hermetic ideology or a religious hypothesis. Yet at the same time I’m curious about the ‘new subject’. As for opening doors… Well, you just met my mother Anna down on the street. She brought us children up to be polite and to look after others. A part of that comes down to the values you adopt as a child. It is important to me that people pay attention to one another and that we take each other seriously.

These are theoretical ideas that suit who I am, and at the same time I feel as though I lost quite a number of years due to the narrow perspective of left-wing ideology and the fear of divine punishment. I want to hold the door open out of my own free will. At the moment I find all this quite confusing.

Richard: Do you allow yourself to doubt?

Pipilotti: People often ask me if my art is feminist. I am a feminist, that’s a point of honour and logical, so long as society’s horizons are not equally accessible for everyone. But there are thousands of other insights that shape my inquiries. Even though I have a positive view of humanity, there is room for ambivalence in my work; accepting this should foster a certain mildness towards oneself. This is what I strive for in my work. When viewers experience my works I hope they will stop being quite so hard on themselves. Maybe this is what you are detecting. Of course, I am not actually where my works are. As a human being I can’t fully achieve the same nonchalance or power that I to some extent explicitly look for or distil in my works. As an individual I am not identical to my works. Sometimes I view myself as neurotic and anxious. But I made a conscious decision not to directly transfer such feelings into my work, even if I don’t deny them either. (…)