Last month I attended the opening of Rist’s exhibition on a cold and drizzly November evening. Set amongst the other A-List glittering galleries along Saville Row, Hauser & Wirth was buzzing with shoeless people. Upon entering the space, I was directed towards a bench where shoes were to be taken off and stored for the duration of the film. Following a thin, dark corridor of heavy curtains I soon found myself transported into the dreamlike cinematic setting of Rist’s alternative world.
The film is set upon two large screens encompassing half of the gallery’s wall space, whilst the floor is laid out with duvet like cushions inviting visitors to settle in for the long haul. The film itself is not lengthy; however I did end up staying there to watch it at least three times through. This happened as a result of the visually mesmerizing rhythm of Rist’s film. Worry Will Vanish displays a series of fragmented imageries internal and external to the human body. The artist manipulates different images of peripheral nature juxtaposing them with kaleidoscopic scenes of lungs and veins within a living, breathing human. This pull and push between abjection and natural aesthetics creates a hypnotic fog one finds hard to pull themselves out of.
The corresponding musical score is equally seductive, lulling viewers into a trancelike state and pushing them deeper into the padded cushioning surrounding the screens. Sitting up and leaving is difficult, if not for Rist’s addictive sensory film, but for fear of disrupting nearby viewers and casting your shadow upon the screen itself. But this is all part of the participatory experience Hauser & Wirth and Pipilotti Rist are exhibiting.