The The presentation at Kunsthaus Bregenz is Mika Rottenberg’s first institutional solo exhibition in Austria.
Born in Argentina and raised in Israel, artist Mika Rottenberg addresses the production processes and circulation of commodities. Her work is neither disinterested criticism nor rigorous political documentation. Rather, she is involved in conducting a contemporary analysis by means of exaggerated distortion and caricature. Rottenberg’s spaces are uncomfortable experiences. Her installations, fabricated from cardboard and found objects, revolve around videos depicting specific production processes, such as the extracting of pearls from mussel shells.
Rottenberg highlights the premises of labor, whilst simultaneously forcing the viewer into the role of a voyeur who is coerced into narrow corridors in order to view the processes of work. Her surreal scenographies lay bare absurd accumulations of commodities and the senselessness of global distribution. Many of her installations are quite humorous and are full of erotic elements.
The protagonists in her films are people, frequently women who, according to Rottenberg, have “loaned” their body parts to the artist. The film Sneeze (2012) feartures three men with hugely exaggerated noses that apparently cannot stop sneezing. The harder they sneeze – they eventually seem to be expelling living hares and pieces of meat – the more it becomes apparent that they are at the mercy of the physical process of sneezing that they can no longer control.
(Photo: Mika Rottenberg, Cosmic Generator, 2017, Videostill, Courtesy of the artist and Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York)