artist / participant
MACBA Collection. Martha Rosler: God Bless America!
A pioner in the 1970 of the use of video as a tool for social analysis, Martha Rosler (New York, 1943) continues to be relevant for her political engagement and feminist perspective. For almost fifty years, her works have offered a critical examination of the workings of contemporary culture.
While her career has encompassed performance, photography, installation and essay writing, Rosler is perhaps best known for her work in video. MACBA Collection. Martha Rosler: God Bless America! focuses on Rosler’s video production through eleven works spanning the 1970s to 2006. The show centres on the key thematic lines in Rosler’s work, where politics as the ideological exercise of power, class hierarchy and economic interest is addressed, especially through the enactment of U.S. imperialism and the social control of women’s bodies.
Together with anti-war videos, like the one that lends the exhibition its title, these works deal with themes such as immigration, labour exploitation, the complicity between multinational corporations, the U.S. government and dictatorial regimes of Latin America, and the transgressions of private life by state power. In a second, yet related, group of videos, Rosler foregrounds gender analysis, interrogating the domestic world and the instrumentalisation of the female body by the mass media, fashion and advertising, as well as by the scientific, medical and legal spheres. Referring to her work, Rosler has written: ‘I want to make art about the commonplace, art that illuminates social life.’
Curator: Tanya Barson