The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Exhibition at Kunstmuseum Basel features early and recent works by Martha Rosler and Hito Steyerl
Installation view Kunstmuseum Basel | Gegenwart. Photo: Marc Asekhame.

BASEL.- The exhibition War Games at Kunstmuseum Basel | Gegenwart features early and recent works by Martha Rosler and Hito Steyerl. Earlier as well as recent works appear in a dialogical arrangement conceived in collaboration with both artists. As well as being their first joint show, this is the first major exhibition in Switzerland for both artists. In addition to numerous works on video, photographs, photomontages, banners, and objects, the presentation on two floors of the museum includes expansive multimedia installations that confront the visitor with spectacular dramatizations of high-tech imagery.

Both artists’ oeuvres address themselves to the intersections between politics and mass media. In their art and theoretical writings, Rosler and Steyerl reflect on how audiovisual media act as coodinates that control and shape our perception of social reality.

As early as the 1970s, Rosler adapted the television format of the cooking show to speak out on feminist issues. In the past few years, she has examined the effects of drone-based visual production as well as the profound changes in how we form political opinions wrought by social media.

Steyerl’s early works on film reflect her critical study of documentary and essayistic filmmaking. In her more recent video installations, she increasingly blends computer-animated visual environments with the aesthetic of the homemade clips disseminated through numerous online platforms. The resulting works scrutinize the ambivalent function of the digital mobile devices with which we communicate and take pictures: their operation inevitably confounds distinctions such as those between empowerment and control or between simulated and real wars.

A recurrent motif in War Games is the artists’ preoccupation with various forms of social, political, economic, and military domination. Many works explore areas of conflict such as (post-) colonialism, anti-Semitism, migration, xenophobia, war, urban development, consumerism, and gender, addressing both hard and soft mechanisms that sustain power relations and social hegemonies. The role that cultural institutions—including the museum—play in dominant political-economic constellations is very much part of this nexus. Several of the pieces on display address the recent resurgence of a pernicious phenomenon suggested by the exhibition’s title: the militarization of everyday life.

Martha Rosler
Over the past four decades, the American artist Martha Rosler (b. New York, lives in Brooklyn) has created a large and diverse oeuvre, addressing contentious political and social issues in photomontages and photographic series, video art, performances, and installations. She rose to renown with a now-legendary series of collages, House Beautiful: Bringing the War Home (1967–1972), in which she contrasted glossy pictures of American interiors from the magazine House Beautiful with documentary photographs from the Vietnam War that appeared in Life. The manipulated scenes prompted the beholder to reflect on the disconnect between the distant war’s reality and how television viewers or magazine readers experienced it in the comfort of their homes.

Rosler’s videos and performances have been explicit about her feminist convictions since the 1960s. She also wrote a series of widely read theoretical essays discussing the political in photography and other questions. The photographic series she started making in the 1980s shift the spotlight toward everyday scenes she finds in the streets of New York and elsewhere—she is an avid traveler—to examine power structures, prevailing social standards, and the pressures of conformity. The critical reflection on urban structures and realities is another focus of her work. In the installation Unsettling the Fragments, her contribution to the 2007 Skulptur Projekte Münster, she transposed historic elements of Münster’s architecture from which Nazi symbols had been purged into new contexts to draw attention to old wounds and ruptures that persisted in the community’s built environment.

Hito Steyerl
The videos and writings of Hito Steyerl (b. Munich, lives in Berlin) undertake astute and provocative analyses of contemporary society and its institutions. The German artist and teacher—she holds a professorship at the Berlin University of the Arts, where she founded the Research Center for Proxy Politics—inquires into global capital and commodity flows, labor conditions under neoliberalism, and entanglements between corporations and public politics. She investigates visual regimes and reflects on the power that images wield as media of our perception and vehicles and structural frameworks of information.

Digital technologies often figure prominently in Steyerl’s more recent films such as The Tower (2015), both on the level of their formal realization—she increasingly resorts to digital production methods—and as a key theme. Digital information streams are active agents in her videos, informing both physical and social processes. Reality, Steyerl argues, has been expanded by digital technologies and follows its lead. A deft editor with a keen eye for visual correspondences and sense of rhythm, the artist interweaves digital animations, screenshots, found footage from the mass media, and scenes she has filmed herself in works such as How Not to Be Seen (A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV File) (2013). The playful lightness of touch in these montages belies the hard disjunctions that run through them.

Today's News

May 7, 2018

New York auction houses get set for an 'extraordinary season'

Barnes Foundation opens exhibition exploring the artistic relationship between Jean Renoir and Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Exhibition focuses on Chaim Soutine's intense paintings of slaughtered animals

Tests show no hidden Tutankhamun chambers: ministry

Kahmann Gallery opens a solo exhibition of renowned American photographer Marvin Newman

TEFAF New York Spring 2018 opens to strong attendance and robust sales

Ketterer Kunst announces highlights from its Modern and Contemporary art sales

Artists for Artangel: New Artangel fund created through artists' gifts

Luci Creative contributes to Smithsonian's "Destination Moon" traveling exhibit

New exhibition explores how photography from the past impacts photos in the present

Sarah Anne Johnson's new landscapes on view at Julie Saul Gallery

Anya Gallaccio brings a sea of colour to the Holy Island

Exhibition reconstructs and reinterprets a seminal presentation of 20th-century painting at the Royal Academy of Arts

Newly discovered work by Leonardo da Vinci

Julien's Auctions serves the most iconic royal wedding cakes of all time at Hollywood Legends auction

Mannequins exhibit their 'Morning Routine' in the Garment District

Wanås Konst kicks off summer season with shows by Chiharu Shiota, Katarina Löfström and Poul Gernes

Exhibition at Kunstmuseum Basel features early and recent works by Martha Rosler and Hito Steyerl

One of the oldest wines in the world from 1774 expected to sell for €15,000 - €20,000

Sotheby's Important Watches sale in Geneva to present rare and collectible timepieces

Artworks by Pal Fried, Rhoda Stokes, Marietta Berman at Crescent City's May 19-20 auction

Henrik Olesen opens exhibition at Galerie Chantal Crousel

DC Moore Gallery opens exhibition of works by Katia Santibañez

Fredrik Söderberg's first solo show at Cecilia Hillström Gallery opens in Stockholm

Contemporary art exhibition of Latvian exile and émigré artists opens in Riga

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Original 'Star Wars' creators lift lid on special effects challenges

2.- Lost '$170 million Caravaggio' snapped up before French auction

3.- Mansell's 'Red Five' on pole for Bonhams sale

4.- Impressionism's 'forgotten woman' shines in new Paris show

5.- Sotheby's to auction the best-surviving NASA videotape recordings of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing

6.- Exhibition explores Dutch and Spanish painting of the 16th and 17th centuries

7.- Cyprus discovers 'first undisturbed Roman shipwreck'

8.- Sotheby's unveils 'Treasures from Chatsworth' with Leonardo Da Vinci drawing, Lucian Freud portraits, and more

9.- Infamous botched art restoration in Spain gets makeover

10.- 1958 Gibson Flying V Korina played by Dave Davies to grab center stage in Heritage Auctions' sale

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful