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That stuff, in a strategy I always find both disorienting and germane, is what makes up the physical approaches to the films themselves—the objects precede their context, plucked from the innards of the films, and become collectible totems that you can’t really collect: the room full of pearl-covered bunnies, replete with baskets of multi-hued teardrop pearls, is peppered with the not-so-seldom squawk of the museum guard scolding people not to touch. One itches to touch.


Splendidly normal objects that are in constant mindless mechanical motion—ceiling fans spinning, frying pans catching drops from the ceiling, an air conditioner whose condensation waters a plant, a pony tail bobbing as if in a rhythmic jog—struggle with their own inner tormenting itch: they yearn to break free from the inconvenient physical matter that forms them and the context that defines their purpose in the world of humans. Matter changes forms all around them—liquid into gas, gas into liquid, liquid into solid—when, they seem to wonder, will it be their chance to transform? Perhaps that is the real purpose of the Sisyphean drudgery that the films display in kaleidoscopic detail; by mutating these objects beyond our earthly comprehension, the artist and her unlikely cast of cohorts attempt to achieve something transcendent and primal: to set these objects free.

Film still from 'Spaghetti Blockchain'.
Film still from 'Spaghetti Blockchain'.
Film still from 'Spaghetti Blockchain'.
Film still from 'Spaghetti Blockchain'.
'No Nose Knows'
Film still from 'Cosmic'

Hurry! 'Mika Rottenberg: Easypieces' is at the New Museum through September 15th, 2019. Lead image: Film still from 'No Nose Knows'. All images courtesy the New Museum.

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