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Watchwords of the Eighties, 1981-1982

This performance was presented at Documenta 7, Kassel, in 1982, and in various venues in the United States and Canada. A silhouetted figure of ambiguous identity, in street gear and carrying a huge ghetto blaster, scrawls messages of resistance on a wall with projected slides of Ronald Reagan, president of the United States from 1981 to 1989, and on a map of Latin America. Press cuttings, budget graphics and articles on the horrors perpetrated in Central America are intervened by the artist, while she raps to music commenting on these subjects. The video ends with a photomontage by John Heartfield in which Hitler’s image is replaced by Ronald Reagan under the title Der Sinn des Hitlergrußes: Kleiner Mann bittet um große Gaben, Motto: Millionen stehen hinter mir! (The Meaning of the Hitler Salute: Little Man Asks for Big Gifts. Motto: Millions Stand Behind Me!).

Technical details

Original title:
Watchwords of the Eighties
Registration number:
Rosler, Martha
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. Barcelona City Council long-term
Object type:
Audiovisual recording
Single-channel video, color, sound, 62 min
MACBA Collection. Barcelona City Council long-term loan
© Martha Rosler
It has accessibility resources:

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