May 1999 – Remake
It’s a warm spring day in Paris, and there’s nothing more pleasant than strolling through the city on a morning like this. I start out with a walk along the Seine. Turning right, I come to the Musée d’Art Moderne where colorful banners announce an exhibition. The name of the artist—Pipilotti Rist— is unknown to me, but there’s something provocative about the exhibition title: Remake of the Weekend.
Ever since I decided to collect art several months ago, I’ve started visiting museums and galleries. I’ve talked with curators and artists, I’ve purchased art books and subscribed to art magazines such as Artforum, Flash Art, and Parkett. I’ve attended art fairs in Germany, Switzerland, and France. But the main thing I’ve done is look, over and over again.
All that looking has made one thing clear to me: art is an image of the world, made for the world. The artist holds up a mirror to us, no matter how distorted that mirror might be. Buying works for myself alone is contrary to what art is all about. But how do I translate that in practical terms? What role would I play? How would I share what I find special with other people?
I still don’t have the answers to any of these questions as I enter the museum. Remake of the Weekend, as it turns out, is not being shown in a standard museum space but in a recreated domestic interior. On the chairs, the bed, the table, and the lamps, life-sized video images are being projected. A naked woman creeps in the rain across the kitchen cabinets, pink-red clouds float across a lampshade.
I feel myself being swallowed up by the world of Pipilotti Rist. As the naked woman rolls in the moss, I smell the wet earth and the fragrance of the sun on her arms. I taste the ripe fruit, with the juice squirting out as she steps on it. I feel the rainwater on my skin and let myself be guided by the languid music that fills the air.
Two hours later when I stand on the bustling street I know. I want to share the feeling that this art evokes in me with others, even when I’m not there. I want to collect, in collaboration with museums. But how do I go about it?