„Squeeze“, Mika Rottenberg

„Squeeze“, 2010 Mika Rottenberg

1976 * in Buenos Aires (AR)

„Mika Rottenberg’s latest work Squeeze continues the artist’s inquiry into the mechanisms by which value is generated, considering the logistics of global outsourcing and the alchemy of art production. Through moviemagic portals Rottenberg links video of her Harlem studio stage set to on-location footage of an iceberg lettuce farm in Arizona and a rubber plant in Kerala, India. This composite factory toils ceaselessly to create a single precious object, one small sculpture. The video is presented in a custom-made theater. The sculpture is inaccessible – preserved offshore, out of reach for public or private viewing.

Squeeze is an architectural portrait of crisscrossing assembly lines: a multidirectional labyrinth that spins energy within a closed circuit. The central protagonist—the product around which all the work takes place—is only revealed through its raw ingredients. In the continuous video loop, the manufacturing process is never completed, remaining in constant flux. The video narrates a step-by-step choreography of rooms and mechanisms, bodies and landscapes. Laboring hands, feet, tongues and buttocks requiring pampering and maintenance. Interior spaces are penetrated by the eruptions of “foreign elements” from the exterior. As these various components of the factory “make effort” they also seem to move purely for the sake of motion.

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). She lives and works in New York. 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. 2011: monographic exhibition at de Appel Arts Centre, Amsterdam.

"Squeeze", Mika Rottenberg

"Squeeze", Mika Rottenberg

Stills from:
Squeeze, 2010
Single channel video installation, digital C-print

See also an interview on:

Cool Hunting Video Presents: Squeeze, Mika Rottenberg
„The multimedia artists shows us her Harlem studio, where she recently built her folk tale-themed entry to the Whitney Biennial
by Cool Hunting Video in Culture on 24 March 2008
For our final video taking a closer look at this year’s Whitney Biennial, we travel to the Harlem studio of video artist Mika Rottenberg. Known for videos depicting women engaging in elaborate systems of production that often harvest their own body, Mika shows us the set of her latest piece (and Biennial installation), „Cheese“ and tells us the backstory of making the video. We also spend some time at the former brewery talking over her motivations and strategies—from the role that sound plays to finding her actors online.“