Martha Rosler—artist, feminist, political activist, and theorist—continuously takes aim at the intertwined structures and strictures of social concerns such as gender norms, labor issues, consumer culture, and urban development—and everything that falls by the wayside. The scrutiny of evolving media and image strategies, which she dissects with sly humor and grit, is an intrinsic part of this undertaking—to reveal the narratives and power structures embedded within.
The 20th-century culture critic and theorist Walter Benjamin, described the visual shock of the montage as a defining characteristic of the modern age. In reaction to the political conflict and confrontation of the 1960s, Rosler found photo and video montage an effective tool to critique the social and political issues of our time. The disconnect between the televised carnage of the Vietnam War and the prosperity dreams of an upwardly mobile, predominantly white middle class, gave rise to House Beautiful: Bringing the War Home, where, as Rosler notes, “I was trying to show that the here and the there of our world picture…were one.”
This exhibition was organized in collaboration with the artist and The New Foundation Seattle. Rosler’s If You Lived Here Still, a research-based inquiry into homelessness, opens January 28, 2016 at The New Foundation Seattle in Pioneer Square.