For her London exhibition, ‘Worry Will Vanish’, Rist has transformed the gallery into a fully immersive, sensory environment. Projected against two walls, ‘Worry Will Vanish Horizon’ (2014) is a journey inside the human body, based on a three-dimensional animation. Rist delights in patterns created by manipulating creases of skin, caressing, pushing and pulling to depict the varied textures of human flesh. These corporeal images periodically overlap with close-up fragments from nature as Rist blurs the boundaries between the self and organic structures. She explores the relationship between internal and external, how individuals are linked to the tissues and blood vessels of other organisms, and in so doing, she suggests relationships with the universe at large.
Rist’s video footage appears as a kaleidoscopic reimagining of reality, as glistening spider webs and dew-laced foliage merge with eyeballs and elbows in a barrage of seductive imagery. Rist has collaborated with artist and musician Anders Guggisberg on the sound that accompanies the video so that ‘Worry Will Vanish Horizon’ emerges as a joyous celebration of audio, texture and colour.
‘Worry Will Vanish’ is a participatory experience; gallery visitors are prompted to remove their shoes before entering the main installation, and hence to release some of the social inhibitions that exist in the world outside. Upon initially entering the gallery space, the viewer is confronted with a denim curtain hanging from the ceiling. The curtain extends the length of the south wall, and entices the viewer to explore the area beyond this physical and psychological barrier. By laying plush carpet and duvets on the floor of her installation, Rist invites the viewer to lie down and experience the work from a new perspective, in which the universe appears enlarged. The viewer moving through the image and the projection of their own shadow onto the gallery wall serves to enhance the interaction between the body and its environment.
Rist draws on principles of Autogenic Training to facilitate a process of relaxation, a technique developed in 1932 by the German psychiatrist Johannes Heinrich Schultz. Autogenic Training involves a repeated set of visualisations, practised in recommended postures (including lying down), which are intended to alleviate stress. Even the adjuratory tone of the exhibition’s title has a calming effect on the viewer, lulling them into a state where they will be receptive to new ideas.
A second, small-scale video installation, ‘Stone Skyscraper’ (2014) is positioned outside the denim curtain. It is a human-scale structure milled from sandstone with a video projected on the façade.