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Domination and the Everyday, 1978

While deconstructing the unity of image and text is normal practice in Rosler’s video works, in this piece it is taken to extremes: video and still images and a crawling text on the screen all work in parallel without any formal correlation.

An American middle-class woman feeds her young child in the kitchen and gets him ready for bed, while on the radio a gallerist is being interviewed about the art of the sixties and a written text slowly traversing the screen alludes to forms of domination in everyday life. Based on sociological analysis from the Frankfurt School, the work compares life in Chile and the United States. On these three visual registers (TV interview, mother/child dialogue and a theoretical text on screen), Rosler superimposes family photographs, trivial adverts from magazines and images of the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. This fragmented symbiosis of still images, action, sound and discourse synthesizes what the artist self-describes as the ‘artist-mother’s This Is Your Life’. A vital context in which the media and the State are entwined with private life: the mixture of sound, text and visual elements can be seen as intense snippets of everyday experiences, showing the cracks through which politics invades our daily lives.

Technical details

Original title:
Domination and the Everyday
Registration number:
Rosler, Martha
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. Barcelona City Council long-term
Object type:
Audiovisual recording
Single-channel video, color, sound, 28 min 33 s
MACBA Collection. Barcelona City Council long-term loan
© Martha Rosler
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