Robert Storr at the NYRB:
In many ways Rist is a kind of lusty feminist flower-child—her first name is an invented combination of Pippi Longstocking and Rist’s own childhood nickname, Lotti—but of a generation that missed the first blush of those tendencies and so was in a position to look back on them critically. Raymond Pettibon, the punk Goya of the post-Haight-Ashbury–post-Altamont counter-Counter-Culture, and his polymathic, multimedia pal Mike Kelley both turned jaundiced eyes on the giddy spirit of the 1960s in their indictments of the periods Utopian fantasies. In striking contrast, Rist’s approach has been to embrace such idealism without any apparent cynicism. Over many years, she has deployed a sensual ethos and aesthetic with a robustness and invention that persuades one not only of her sincerity but of the abiding worth of such optimism.
I write this as a sixty-seven-year-old ’68er who has smoked my share of dope, lounged around my share of crash pads watching light shows, and communed with my share of kindred, soul-searching spirits. I don’t really hunger for more and certainly have no desire to relive the past. Accordingly it was with considerable wariness that I exited the elevator on the top floor of the New Museum to find a dimmed chamber scattered with beds of every description—from standard issue IKEA to faux-Rococo sleighs—on which members of the public stretched out to watch two videos projected on a ceiling framed by curvaceous Plexiglass cutouts.