This Fall, the Henry
installed the work of internationally acclaimed video artist Pipilotti Rist. A la belle étoile is presented in collaboration with Seattle art Museum and in conjunction with the exhibition Elles: Women Artists from the Centre Pompidou, Paris.
A la belle étoile transformed the Henrys east gallery by projecting moving images onto the floor, filling the entire 850 square foot gallery space. The artist creates an environment where the viewer is sucked into the video projection and where the camera zooms from microcosms, like individual bodies, to macrocosms, like a galaxy of stars. Whether by viewing the piece from the overlook above, or walking among the projected images, visitors can experience a sense of disorientation and weightlessness as they become part of Rists visually fluid and hypnotic space.
With this work I want to generate a burst of awareness in the minds of viewers, I want to send them the softness and get them to put their personal problems aside. The video oscillates between micro-and macrocosm, so, new doors open on complex subjects, such as our source of amniotic fluid, the assumption of a purgatory and an economic system. Spectators are expected to achieve a state of flux in which many (other) things suddenly seem possible.
The Henry launched its fall season with Rists work, known for its optical exuberance and its ability to engage viewers bodies and senses. A la belle étoile was commissioned by the Centre pompidou in 2007 in celebration of the institutions 30th anniversary.
Pipilotti Rist: A la belle étoile is organized by the Henry in collaboration with the Seattle art Museum as part of a city-wide celebration of French art and culture and the contributions of women artists. The presentation at the Henry is generously supported by the Swiss arts Council pro Helvetia, the Consulate general of Switzerland in San Francisco, and swissnex San Francisco.