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It was a packed house for video artist Pipilotti Rist’s talk at the San Francisco Art Institute this past Monday evening. Rist, who was in town installing an exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, showed half-a-dozen works in whole or in part, starting with I’m Not a Girl Who Misses Much. Rist stars in I’m Not a Girl…, as in most of her works, and her discussion of the piece consisted of a four-word statement: “misses….as in lacks.” This simple point effectively illuminated the work; throughout the talk her highly individual relationship with the English language (she’s Swiss, a native German speaker) resulted in off-center insights and amusing moments. As Rist says, she works with the visual, not the verbal, side of the brain. Her talk demonstrated how tangential words are to effective artistic communicaton.

- Meredith Tromble [Wednesday, March 3rd, 2004]

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