printed late 1990s
- Media category
- Materials used
- photomontage as type C photograph
- 2/10 + 2 APs
- 59.5 x 49.0 cm image; 63.0 x 52.2 cm sheet
- Signature & date
Signed l.c. certificate of authenticity, black fibre-tipped pen "Martha Rosler". Not dated.
- Gift of Geoff Ainsworth AM 2015. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
- Not on display
- Accession number
- © Martha Rosler
- Artist information
Works in the collection
Since the 1960’s, Martha Rosler has produced work that serves as incisive commentary on the socio-political fabric of the world around her. Working across photography, performance, video, installation and writing, Rosler is deeply invested in art’s capacity to enact and spur critical conversations, whether they pivot on political ideology, the domestic sphere, or the status of the individual in broader society. With a resolutely feminist inflection, Rosler’s work is both scathing and satirical.
There is a dexterity and a playfulness to the way 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.
These works from the series 'House beautiful, bringing the war home', engage with the negligent ignorance and hypocrisy that haunted images of the domestic ideal in circulation at the time of the Vietnam war.
'Balloons' shows a picture perfect American home with a pile of colourful balloons resting in the corner. In the foreground a Vietnamese man holding an injured child in his arms looks up the stairs. Similarly, 'Giacommetti' places a landscape devastated by war outside the window of a well-to-do living room. Both are simple juxtapositions that bring the reality of the Vietnam War into the American home.
Referenced in 3 publications
Catherine de Zegher, Martha Rosler: positions in the life world, 'Bringing the war home: house beautiful: in Vietnam', pg.14-22, Birmingham, 1998, 17 (colour illus.).
Macushla Robinson, See you at the barricades, Sydney, 2015, 23 (colour illus.), 47.
Eleanor Weber, Pop to popism, 'Martha Rosler. House beautiful: bringing the war home 1967-72', pg.196-99, Sydney, 2014, 197, 199 (colour illus.).