Mika Rottenberg

Mika Rottenberg

de Appel, Jongensschool, Eerste Jacob van Campenstraat 59

Exceptional women, such as the powerful Heather Foster, the sizeable Queen Raqui (‘Her body Utterly Amazing, Her agility astounding’), and the super-tall erotic model ‘Bunny Glamazone’, become absurd characters who use their bodies as production machines in the colourful films by the New York-based artist Mika Rottenberg. This spring the films of Rottenberg (born in Buenos Aires in 1976, but now living in New York) receive their Dutch première in de Appel.

Linking together often bizarre scenes, Rottenberg presents enigmatic working processes in which physical “waste materials” – such as blood, sweat and tears, or hair and nails – create new products, sometimes mixed up with salad or make-up. Rottenberg is said to make “seriously political art that is preposterously funny”. In fact with her almost surrealist films she comments on existing ideas about a woman’s right to self-determination, the idealisation of the stereotype of the body and the position of workers in a globalised capitalist economy. The starting point in this is often the miraculous nature of reality. The artist has said: “I see a lot of magic in so many mundane moments”. Rottenberg presents her films in complex installations she has built, which consist partly of her film decors and which she will re-create specially for her exhibition in de Appel.

Mika Rottenberg was born in Buenos Aires in 1976, and holds a BFA from the School of Visual Arts (2000) and an MFA from Columbia University (2004). Solo exhibitions include San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; La Maison Rouge, Paris; KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin; and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York. Her work has been exhibited in the 2008 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art; the Tate
Modern, London; Guggenheim Museum (Bilbao and New York); The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Uncertain States of America: American Art in the Third Millenium (multiple venues, 2005-2006). Her most recent work, "Squeeze," premiered in the USA at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in summer 2010 and in New York at Mary Boone Gallery in
conjunction with Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery in fall 2010. She lives and works in New York.

The first major publication on Rottenberg’s work, published by Gregory R. Miller & Co., in partnership with De Appel Arts Centre, Amsterdam and Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery in New York, provides the most comprehensive analysis of Rottenberg’s oeuvre to date, with previously unpublished archival material and new visual sequences designed in
collaboration with Project Projects, New York. Co-edited by Ann Demeester and Edna van Duyn, it will include key texts from different perspectives by poet Efrat Mishori (Tel Aviv), Linda Williams (University of California Berkeley); Hsuan L. Hsu, (University of
California, Davis) as well as new interviews between the artist and her hired performers, who advertise their extreme physiques on the internet.

For an interview with the artist, see: http://www.coolhunting.com/culture/mika-rottenberg.php

See also