Rosler Chapter 5

From Paradise

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S.R. For me from the German perspective it's interesting how younger artists for example, Greg Bordowitz, who I also talked to, is always pointing out that for him it was very important to have these two different sources: One is that of the very intellectual, logical procession, like Joseph Kosuth. //His teacher.// I think he was assistant at Kosuth's. But the other point he is also referring to, is your practice.

M.R. Yes, he had a father and a mother

S.R. Do you think that it's simple like this?

M.R. Yeah. I'm speaking symbolically in that sense, that I don't think that the... I am speaking in terms of figures rather than us specifically. I'm perfectly capable of intellectual and conceptual analysis and I'm sure that Joseph is perfectly capable of thinking about daily life, but it is interesting how we broke down in Greg's life in terms of being a teacher of one thing and the teacher of another thing. I was also Greg's teacher though not to the same degree. It is true that at that moment in which feminism appeared I opted for the feminine, that is for the concerns of women. But I was just noticing somebody wrote in a little biography of me that I've been »she«, I have always been concerned with questions of geopolitics and space, but the feminist concerns seem confined to a particular era, and I haven't thought about that yet in terms of whether I mean I don't think of that is that true or not. But I would say, that if nothing else, the feminist concerns were my way of addressing the immediate exigencies of the politics of life in America, particularly because we were engaging in an unjust war. It seemed to me that... I had been an abstract painter, and it seemed to me, that if I was leaving abstract painting behind, which was a decision I made, it was not to engage in language games, even though I was studying linguistics. I literally was getting a master's degree in linguistics at New York University and therefore I was extremely interested in language operations and also in Wittgenstein and so on, though not that much. But it seemed to me all of this was a bit like still being back, looking at texts and trying to figure out: what is the real meaning of this text, and this kind of scholasticism just seemed completely bloodless. So, I don't know. I think, if it wasn't feminism it would have been a more directly political thing. Remember that my Vietnam War montages, although they were to some degree done with a feminist eye, were still anti-war montages... not authored by a female necessarily, though I would argue they were. But I leave the backdoor open for anybody to have done these, though they wouldn't because they were about people's houses. You get my meaning. We all live lives; it was women who insisted that the mode of operation within the field of the labour of production and reproduction of self and children and family, and the production of space in the domestic sphere, that was the concomitant to the production in the public sphere, that the two went together, and that these were necessary spaces of operation for artists. // Ehm. /// You look like this isn't making sense.

Martha Rosler »