The ersatz factories and farms that appear in the video-installations of Mika Rottenberg (born 1976) are tended by female laborers with unusual features. Uncommonly fat, tall, muscular or long-haired women work on strange, alchemical assembly lines to turn red fingernails into maraschino cherries, or to squeeze together blush, lettuce and rubber into a curious and magical product.
Published on the occasion of Rottenberg’s retrospective exhibition at de Appel Arts Centre, Amsterdam, this first publication on the acclaimed young artist presents a comprehensive overview of her work. It includes extensive sections on all of Rottenberg’s major video installations, culminating with “Squeeze” (2010). Video stills, diagrams, drawings and previously unpublished source material are interwoven with essays investigating the work from political, philosophical and historical perspectives. Interviews conducted by the artist with some of the performers whose extreme physiques she showcases in her videos provide unique insight into Rottenberg’s process of blending fact and fiction to create her highly original work.