Mika Rottenberg's unique narrative style finds truth in exaggeration: she depicts machines that operate by pedal, string, rubber band, and other elements, to manufacture products that verge on the absurd and at the great expense of workers pictured. In Performance Still, the female subject is fitting herself into the confined box-like compartments that compose the factory, maneuvering different body parts at once to complete a singular task, in a way becoming an extension of the factory herself. These visual narratives, which capture the female body as an integral element of the machinery, illuminates the interconnected relationship between the human body and labor. The repetitive movements of the women evoke Taylorism, a factory management system developed in the late nineteenth century, and in turn encourages viewers to consider the ethics of the labor system, in addition to the historic commodification
and objectification of women.
From the 2023 exhibition A Space for Dialogue 112, Social Surrealism and the Exploration of Identity, curated by Paulina Marinkovic Camacho ’23, Levinson Intern
A Space for Dialogue 112, Social Surrealism and the Explortion of Identity, Paulina Marinkovic Camacho, ’23, Levinson Intern, Alvin P. Gutman Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, April 22 - June 24, 2023.
Mika Rottenberg: Performance Stills, A Project for W Magazine, Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York, January 23 - March 7, 2009
Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York, New York, date unknown; Anonymous gift; given to present collection, 2018.
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