Artist strings 300 pairs of pants along the Thames

Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist has strung 300 pairs of knickers along the south bank of the Thames, to coincide with a major solo exhibition at London’s Hayward Gallery.

The underwear comes in three sizes and is lit from within. It is part of a bizarre outdoor sculpture called Hip Lights, which has been created especially for the Hayward show.

Rist told The Guardian: "From a distance, they will look like whipped cream. Or sheep’s heads, with the legs of the pants forming the eyes. I hope they will make people smile, but also think about the relationship we have with this important, sexually charged area in the middle of our bodies. We all come out from between our mother’s legs. From there that we first see the light of the world."

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The stunt is part of exhibition Eyeball Massage, which references Rist’s fascination with the moving images. It covers a series of her most famous works, including 1996 film I’m Not the Girl Who Misses Much, where the artist dances frenetically, with her breasts bared for the camera.

Others include 1192 Pickelporno, where close ups of writhing lovers overlay images of leaves and flowers, and1997 film Ever is Over All, which portrays a woman smashing a car window with a bouquet of flowers.

The Pipilotti exhibition will run at the Hayward Gallery from September 28 to January 8, 2012.

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