Martha Rosler, Pencicle of Praise

Martha Rosler, Pencicle of Praise

Martha Rosler, Pencicle of Praise (still), 2018. Color video-in-progress, 10 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.

Bar Laika presents
Martha Rosler, Pencicle of Praise
February 21, 2019, 9pm
Bar Laika by e-flux
224 Greene Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238

Bar Laika is very pleased to present Pencicle of Praise (10 minutes, 2018), a video-in-progress by Martha Rosler.

Vice President Mike Pence, as the smiley face of the Trump Adminstration, also acts as cheerleader-in-chief.  In accepting the vice-presidential nomination in 2016, Pence proclaimed, “I’m a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican—in that order,” suggesting how we should understand his statements and behavior. We see him here expressing and eliciting gratitude to his president during various press occasions. This ground-breaking, earth-shaking video begins with moments from a grand televised conference early in 2017 at the White House Rose Garden, showcasing the president’s announced intention to withdraw from the historic Paris Climate Accord. Other moments of pious gratitude are enacted for the press by the president’s minions. The music—the Battle Hymn of the Republic and the national anthem—were part of the Rose Garden broadcast, which also ends the video.

In her work in video, photo-text, performance, critical writing, and installation, Martha Rosler constructs incisive social and political analyses of the myths and realities of contemporary culture. Articulated with deadpan wit, her video works investigate how socioeconomic realities and political ideologies dominate ordinary life. Presenting complex critical analyses in accessible forms, Rosler’s video works merge performance, narrative, documentary, and mass media images.  Martha Rosler lives and works in Brooklyn. Her survey exhibition Irrespective is currently on view at the Jewish Museum.

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Martha Rosler utilizes various media in her work, primarily video and photography, and also installation and sculpture; she also writes about art and culture. Her work has for decades considered matters of the public sphere and mass culture; war and geopolitical conflict; housing, urbanism, and the built environment, and systems of transportation—especially as these affect women. Many of her projects have been extrainstitutional or developed and enacted with groups of people. Rosler sees her work, her teaching, and her writing as continuations of a broader engagement with the currents of cultural critique and social and political change. Her work may best be summed up as both a conceptual art and an activist practice—focused on questions of representational form but joined, however uneasily, to a commitment to political agitation. Video, which she adopted in its infancy, presented itself as at the crossroads of both. Rosler spent the 1970s in California and Canada. In 1980, she returned to her native Brooklyn, where she lives and works.

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