Artist Interview



The question of labour and the exploitation of women’s bodies lies at the heart of Rottenberg’s humorous video installations. In Mary’s Cherries (2005) three female wrestlers perform a series of bodily actions in small claustrophobic chambers on successive floors. Two women rapidly pedal exercise bikes to power a UV light that promotes the growth of red fingernails. Each nail is carefully cut and dropped through a hole in the floor where another labourer massages and rubs it, softening it so that when the fingernail is passed to the next labourer it is easily transformed into a sticky maraschino cherry. Rottenberg juxtaposes the depersonalised production line with the individuality of the workers, whose sensually grotesque bodies actively become part of the production of commodities.