Mika Rottenberg at ‘The Bass’ for Art Basel Miami Beach 13th December 2017/ Bilyana Palankasova A solo exhibition by Mika Rottenberg opened last week at the newly refurbished Bass Museum of Art in Miami, coinciding with Art Basel Miami. The show consists of video and sculptural installations produced in the past two years and focuses on topics of late global capitalism, such as labour, gender and the national identity in an international context. The exhibition occupies the whole space of the museum and debuts several works in the US.

One of the central pieces is a new variant of the recent commission for Skulptur Projekte Münster (2017) – Cosmic Generator (loaded #2). The work has the US-Mexico border wall as a central motif and is set in the border zone of Calexico, US and Mexicali, Mexico. Rottenberg conceived the work while working on a different piece, Squeeze (2010), inspired by the intercultural mix across the border, evident from ‘the best Chinese food restaurant’ being in Mexicali. Rottenberg’s practice is very widely concerned with the product of immigration and assimilation as well as the washing out of cultural identities in the context of capitalist globalisation. Rottenberg’s experience resulted in male performers, crawling through tunnels while dressed like tacos and a woman smashing a mountain of coloured light bulbs, while another one pushes a food cart around town, being able to appear and disappear as she wishes, challenging the concept of border.

Another significant piece in the exhibition is the 2015 Venice Biennale entry, NoNoseKnows. Set up in a parallel gallery, the work consists of a video and sculptural installation showing working environments in China. It depicts a woman in an office space, using an electric fan to blow pollen into her nose, which in turn elongates and reddens, before she sneezes out Chinese noodles. Approaching the topic rather humorously, Rottenberg criticises western overconsumption, alluding to take out food. Another segment in the work is the portrayal of female Chinese labourers harvesting pearls from oysters in Zhuji, tapping into the territory of female labour in the mass produce industry. Rottenberg is strongly interested in the relationship between the body and capitalist production. Through the use of performers, she reinforces the idea of ownership of the body and owning the means of production.

Rottenberg exhibited at Jupiter Artland in May 2015 with a show consisting of several video and sculptural installations interacting with the environment of the Goldsworthy room to create an immersive surreal experience.

Mika Rottenberg can be seen at The Bass in Miami from 6th December 2017 until 30th April 2018.

Images are taken from Artsy: https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-mika-rottenbergs-seductive-videos-expose-capitalisms-surreal-inner-workings
Mika Rottenberg, Cosmic Generator, 2017. Courtesy of Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York and Galerie Laurent Godin, Paris.
Mika Rottenberg, NoNoseKnows, 2015. Courtesy of Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York.
Mika Rottenberg, NoNoseKnows, 2015. Courtesy of Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York.