Mika Rottenberg, ‘U5’, 2008, Zane Bennett Contemporary Art

frame size 17 1/2 x 21 3/4

About Mika Rottenberg

Mika Rottenberg creates elaborate and imaginative video installations as vehicles to explore ideas of class, labor, gender, and value. The artist, who above all considers herself a sculptor, often begins a project by seeking out female performers noted for their unusual physical characteristics, such as bodybuilders. She then builds elaborate sets as “costumes” for the performers—which in turn become the theater where the audience experiences the video. Inspired by her first encounters with infomercials after moving to New York as a teenager, as well as the idea of “finding little solutions for things that are not necessarily a problem,” her characters engage in absurd acts of labor involving Rube Goldberg-like assembly line contraptions, milking hair to make cheese or grinding acrylic fingernails into maraschino cherries—often exerting much more effort along the way than the final product is worth.

Argentinean-Israeli, b. 1976, Buenos Aires, Argentina, based in New York, New York