Rosler Chapter 8

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S.R. How do you see your own practice, when I'm allowed to come to that point, because you started using the words »market« and »art market«. How do you see your own work in relation to that? Because I remember, when I first met you 1993, I came with Hans Haacke to your opening. I think, you were nervous because you said, that it was the first opening in a gallery for a long time.

M.R. Ever, ever. I stayed away from commercial galleries. It's so funny that you would be reminding me of just this moment. My poor dealer in New York. I have had three shows in that decade only which doesn't make them happy. But I'm preparing for another one, and the subject will be war again. Here I am, just delivering myself into the arms of my dealer and having those same misgivings, and yet, what I decided by 1993, when I joined that same dealer, was that the field of operations had changed to the point that I was tired of being completely invisible all the time, because as a human being it made life impossible. I couldn't to function... because I was being constantly relegated to the outside of the discourse, which is intolerable. Because I wasn't shown in galleries, and curators are immensely lazy, unbelievably lazy: they only always get everything they need from going to commercial galleries. And so that put me... If I had a working collective perhaps, I wouldn't have cared, but it was exhausting to be constantly producing and doing everything I was doing without any support whatsoever, and constantly being passed over which meant that I wouldn't get support.

S.R. So do you think, when you resume, that it is always important to have one, maybe let's say one toe //(laughs.)// in the gallery?

M.R. No, I don't think that. I think that I wasn't able to think of a strategy for myself that would make that unnecessary. However, what is interesting is, I'm from a generation in which you had to make the choice. The current generation... I don't know about the new generation but... certainly from the mid 80s onward people didn't make a choice to be outside if they had any interest in being represented inside. It was automatic, you had to have a gallery. I don't know that that's ended yet, though there the groups that I mentioned, for example, have decided that it's not worth their time. But they do function as groups – I'm not a group.

Martha Rosler »