Semiotics of a kitchen is a holy grail of an artwork that I really appreciate. I don’t know much about art theory but I think that what she tried to show us is how powerful a woman can be in a kitchen (maybe?), not in a bad way of course, but trying to teach her how she could defend herself with the weapons she had at her disposal(nutcracker, knives, …) . Very funny and interesting but paradoxically very sad and confronting. At that time ( the 60s) women had to do a lot to come up for their rights and Martha Rosler did in in a very beautiful an maybe a bit primitive way.
I will leave you with a more artistical explanation from the MoMa website:
In this performance Rosler takes on the role of an apron-clad housewife and parodies the television cooking demonstrations popularized by Julia Child in the 1960s. Standing in a kitchen, surrounded by refrigerator, table, and stove, she moves through the alphabet from A to Z, assigning a letter to the various tools found in this domestic space. Wielding knives, a nutcracker, and a rolling pin, she warms to her task, her gestures sharply punctuating the rage and frustration of oppressive women’s roles. Rosler has said of this work, “I was concerned with something like the notion of ‘language speaking the subject,’ and with the transformation of the woman herself into a sign in a system of signs that represent a system of food production, a system of harnessed subjectivity.”
So I tried screenprinting henna on black paper and it gives a really cool drying process! so here’s a crappy video about it!
“it is like having a highlighting pen isn’t it? and you are just picking some things out sometimes, but it’s almost just being interested in the world more than creativity. it is more like enjoying keeping your eyes open”