rosler - vital

Martha Rosler: "Vital Statistics of a Citizen, Simply Obtained" (1977).
image copyright Martha Rosler, courtesy of Videoforum, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (nbk), Berlin

Martha Rosler (USA *1943)

Since the early 1970s, Martha Rosler's works have constructed social and political analyses of the myths and socio-political realities of contemporary culture. Her video works investigate with deadpan wit how socioeconomic realities and political ideologies dominate ordinary life. Presenting complex critical analyses in accessible forms, Martha Rosler merges performance, narrative, documentary, and mass media images.

"Semiotics of the Kitchen' (1975) adopts the form of a parodic cooking demonstration. On a counter before the artist are a variety of utensils, each of which she picks up, names and proceeds to demonstrate, but with gestures that are increasingly marked by frustration and anger and depart from the normal uses of the respective tool.

"Vital Statistics of a Citizen, Simply Obtained' (1977) probes the objectification of women in a technological / bureaucratic society. At its core is a long, continuous shot that reveals the part-by-part measurement and evaluation of a woman by a white-coated male examiner and a chorus of three women assistants.


In the Video Archive:

"Semiotics in the Kitchen", 1975, 7:00min.
"Vital Statistics of a Citizen, Simply Obtained", 1977, 39:20min.


Martha Rosler Website
Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York
Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin
Video Data Bank, Chicago