We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Untitled – Cargo cult (from Body beautiful – a.k.a. Beauty knows no pain)

circa 1967-1972
printed circa 2000


Martha Rosler

United States of America

29 Jul 1943 –

  • Details

    circa 1967-1972
    printed circa 2000
    Media category
    Materials used
    photomontage as type C photograph
    AP 1 from edition of 10 + 2AP
    99.5 x 77.0 cm
    Gift of Geoff Ainsworth AM 2018. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Martha Rosler

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    Artist information
    Martha Rosler

    Works in the collection


  • About

    There is a dexterity and a playfulness to the way Martha Rosler works with the raw material of an image saturated culture. In her photomontages, a core component of her practice since the 1960s, Rosler sorts through the deluge of images we encounter in our daily life – in advertising, on the news – and repurposes them as ammunition for complex critiques of societal concerns and humanist principles. In her work, passive images that we rarely question (for we see them with such frequency) become agents of subterfuge. Remixed and reworked, they jolt us out of complacency.

    Her work serves as an incisive commentary on many ethical minefields, from consumerism and gentrification to conflict and the collateral effects of war. Hers is a deeply entrenched feminist practice and the sexualisation and typecasting of women is a subject she routinely examines. In this work, images from cosmetics advertisements have been composited onto the sides of shipping containers. Transportable and saleable cargo, these women – all of semi-uniform appearance – are reduced to mere commodities. They can be bought and sold in bulk.

Other works by Martha Rosler