Martha Rosler

Red Stripe Kitchen | Bringing the War Home: House Beautiful . 1967–72

+ Martha Rosler . the Art Institute of Chicago

The conflict in Vietnam has been dubbed the first "living-room war" because of the unprecedented way in which television carried images of the ongoing carnage into American households.Yet it was in frustration with what she perceived as the inadequacy of such mass-media images—their seeming remoteness from the concerns of daily life in the U.S.—that Martha Rosler produced her Bringing the War Home: House Beautiful series (1967–72). Since the 1960s, Rosler has employed a range of mediums, from photography and video to performance and writing, to criticize gender stereotypes and grapple with an array of social issues. For Bringing the War Home, she turned to photomontage, a technique with a long history of political usage. By splicing together war photographs from Life magazine and tranquil, domestic interiors from the pages of House Beautiful, Rosler made events in Southeast Asia appear to literally enter the American home. In the Guggenheim's Red Stripe Kitchen, two soldiers survey the terrain in back of a sleekly modern kitchen. Through such visual overlaying, Rosler disturbs the comforting illusion of distance between "here" and "there" and suggests a relationship between U.S. foreign policy and the consumer culture back home. Over 30 years later, these images have lost none of their original force—or relevance.
Ted Mann

Cleaning the Drapes | Bringing the War Home: House Beautiful . 1967–72

Balloons | Bringing the War Home: House Beautiful . 1967–72

Vacation Getaway | Bringing the War Home: House Beautiful . 1967–72

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