martha rosler: crossings

6 DVDs

Collection: New Releases, Single Artist Compilations, Box Sets

Tags: Consumer culture, Feminism, Gender, Performance, Politics

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martha rosler: crossings

Video Data Bank is proud to present crossings, an extensive collection of video works by Martha Rosler. Spanning five decades, this essential compilation presents Rosler’s unreservedly feminist, politically charged, historically vital, and ever-relevant Super 8 and video artworks. From pivotal early performances such as Semiotics of the Kitchen, to collaborations such as Born to Be Sold: Martha Rosler Reads the Strange Case of Baby $/M, and dissections of war and propaganda such as If It’s Too Bad to Be True, It Could Be DISINFORMATION — this anthology presents the work of one of video art’s most influential artists while simultaneously charting the cultural and technical developments of the video art medium since its inception. Accompanying the works is a newly published monograph detailing Rosler’s video works, with a wide-ranging essay by film and media scholar Nora Alter.

“The subject is the commonplace — I am trying to use video to question the mythical explanations of everyday life. We accept the clash of public and private as natural, yet their separation is historical. The antagonism of the two spheres, which have in fact developed in tandem, is an ideological fiction — a potent one. I want to explore the relationships between individual consciousness, family life, and culture under capitalism.”

— Martha Rosler

Included Titles

Martha Rosler, Backyard Economy I
The first in a pair of silent Super 8 films centering on the backyard of a modest house in a coastal community of north San Diego County. The word “economy” itself was coined in relation to household maintenance and reproduction, and these paired...

 

Collection: Single Titles

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Martha Rosler, Backyard Economy II (Diane Germain Mowing)
The second in a pair of silent Super 8 films centering on the backyard of a modest house in a coastal community of north San Diego County. The word “economy” itself was coined in relation to household maintenance and reproduction, and these paired...

 

Collection: Single Titles

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Semiotics of the Kitchen
From A to Z in this mock cooking-show demonstration Rosler 'shows and tells' the ingredients of the housewife's day. She offers an inventory of tools that names and mimics the ordinary with movements more samurai than suburban. Rosler's slashing...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: feminism, gender, language, performance, video history

Martha Rosler, Semiotics of the Kitchen: An Audition
In 2003, Rosler announced an open call for a live re-staging of her 1975 video Semiotics of the Kitchen, to be held at the Whitechapel Gallery in London, for A Short History of Performance, Part II. Twenty-six women — actors, artists, curators, and...

 

Collection: Single Titles

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Vital Statistics of a Citizen, Simply Obtained
Taking aim at the social standardization enforced particularly on women's bodies, Rosler critiques the politics of "objective" or scientific evaluation that result in the depersonalization, objectification, and colonization of women and Others. As...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: body, feminism, performance, science

Martha Rosler, Flower Fields (Color Field Painting)
The low hills fronting the main California artery of Highway 5 exhibit a beautiful spectrum-like pattern, in stripes formed by the fields of flowers being grown there for commercial sale. The camera zooms in from a paused vehicle across the highway...

 

Collection: Single Titles

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Martha Rosler, A budding gourmet
To the spare sounds of a Schönberg violin concerto, a silhouetted woman seated at a small tea table puts forth her reasons for wanting to become a gourmet. Photographs from glossy cookbooks and magazines accompany her ideas about food as a key to...

 

Collection: Single Titles

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The East Is Red, The West Is Bending
Rosler uses the format of a cooking demonstration (as in Semiotics of the Kitchen) to address cultural transaction--the meeting of Eastern and Western cultures. Reading directly from a West Bend Electric Wok instruction booklet, Rosler wryly...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: gender, performance, video history

Losing: A Conversation with the Parents
Treating the problem of anorexia nervosa from the parents' perspective, Rosler presents a mother and father speaking about the tragedy of their daughter's death as a result of dieting. The conversation turns toward the irony of self-starvation in a...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: body, death and dying, family, feminism, health, performance, video history

Domination and the Everyday
Rosler calls Domination and the Everyday, with its fragmented sounds, images, and crawling text, an artist-mother's This Is Your Life. Throughout this work, we hear—but do not see—a mother and small child at dinner and bedtime while a radio airs an...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: media analysis, performance, politics, video history

Martha Rosler, Martha Rosler Reads Vogue, With Paper Tiger Television
A live performance on a public-access cable program in New York deconstructing the messages in Vogue and its advertising. The work looks at the institutional slants of the magazine industry and the fashion industry’s reliance on sweatshops.

 

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: media analysis

Born to Be Sold: Martha Rosler Reads the Strange Case of Baby $/M, With Paper Ti
Martha Rosler tackles mainstream media's representation of the case of surrogate mother Mary Beth Whitehead.

 

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: family, feminism, health, media analysis, performance

A Simple Case for Torture
Rosler identifies the totalitarian implications of an argument for torture, under certain circumstances, as it appears as a guest editorial in Newsweek magazine in 1982. Her critique is presented as a voiceover and a dizzying assemblage of radio and...

 

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: media analysis, performance, politics

Secrets from the Street: No Disclosure
Reading the billboards, the cars, the people, and the graffiti of the street as cultural signs, Rosler extracts the network of social power and domination that determines whose culture gets represented where, asking whose culture is reported in the...

 

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: graffiti, performance, politics, video history

Martha Rosler, Museums will eat your lunch
In this silent video, still images of stores and residential buildings in New York City appear within a cutout template, based on the “giftbox heap” formed by the New Museum silhouette. As these shiny storefronts, dwellings, and official documents...

 

Collection: Single Titles

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Martha Rosler, How Do We Know What Home Looks Like? The Unité d’Habitation of Le
Shot in Firminy-Vert, a Le Corbusier Unité, or housing project, in south-central France, this work traces the building’s history through an engagement with the lives of its residents and traces of its past. Called “Le Corbu” after its renowned...

 

Collection: Single Titles

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If it's too bad to be true, it could be DISINFORMATION
In a fusion of text and image, Rosler re-presents the NBC Nightly News and other broadcast reports to analyze their deceptive syntax and capture the confusion intentionally inserted into the news script. The artist addresses the fallibility of...

 

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: media analysis, performance

Martha Rosler, Chile on the Road to NAFTA, Accompanied by the National Police Ba
A bouncy music-video burlesque shot in and around Santiago, Chile, entwines reminders of U.S. corporate presence and of past political terror, with national and international musical strains. Chile, at the southernmost end of South America, was in...

 

Collection: Single Titles

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Martha Rosler, Prototype (God Bless America)
A mechanical toy figure dressed as an American soldier bends and sways, playing God Bless America — the sentimental, unofficial, and highly favored national anthem during World War II — on a bugle. The camera pans down, revealing that the toy’s...

 

Collection: Single Titles

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Martha Rosler, Because This Is Britain
A visualization of phrases used by Prime Minister David Cameron during his Oxfordshire speech addressing the events of August 2011. Selected phrases emerge from the stream of his speech, punctuated by images of ordinary passersby, teenagers, youths...

 

Collection: Single Titles

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Martha Rosler: An Interview
Martha Rosler (b.1943) received her BA from Brooklyn College in 1965 and her MFA from the University of California, San Diego in 1974. Rosler has produced seminal works in the fields of photography, performance, video, installation, criticism,...

 

Collection: On Art and Artists, Interviews, Single Titles

Tags: blumenthal/horsfield interviews, film or videomaking, interview, marxism, performance