The Artist as Debtor: A Conference about the Work of Artists in the Age of Speculative Capitalism
Friday, January 23, 2015
The Great Hall, Cooper Union
7 East 7th Street
New York NY 10003
A response to the Jerry Saltz review in New York Magazine.
Martha Rosler has typically been too pat and jejune in her politics, and in her assumption that it makes for good art, and Jerry Saltz correctly nails the rehash aspects of the current Mitchell-Innes & Nash show. The word "on the street" (in this case West 26th) is that Rosler is breaking no new ground, merely updating and enhancing both the scale and production values of her familiar collaging of images. Once they were taken from the Vietnam battlefield and conflated with magazine clippings from the home front: fashion models, washing machines, living room sofas and credenzas, Playboy nudes. Now they include some "relevant" Iraqi/Afghani footage - burkas and amputees - and benefit from Photoshop. Rosler might have succeeded in "bringing the war home" in 1968, but as Thomas Wolfe said, "You Can't Go Home Again". The epithet "pretty war porn" might be a bit harsh, but it is not that far from the mark.