This article considers the often‐overlooked role that disgusting imagery plays in the work of Swiss video artist Pipilotti Rist. In immersive installations and in single‐channel videos, Rist updates abject feminist performance art of the 1960s and 1970s for a media‐saturated age. But her work brings up—and plays with—a question that has haunted abject feminist figurative art: does the genre attract the male gaze, or avert it? After all, the artist has garnered immense popular appeal while making work with motifs like menstrual blood. Theorists of disgust, however—from Immanuel Kant to Julia Kristeva to Sianne Ngai—have long understood seduction and disgust as intricately bound. The reception of Rist's work shows that the pretty and the gross in fact share many formal characteristics, and that desire and disgust often go hand in hand.

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