Mika Rottenberg, 2018 © Kunsthaus Bregenz. Photo: Miro Kuzmanovic

Mika Rottenberg

  • 6 – 19 August 2023

Hauser & Wirth Somerset is delighted to welcome Mika Rottenberg as our artist-in-residence in August 2023.

Rottenberg is an artist devoted to a rigorous practice that combines film, architectural installation and sculpture to explore ideas of labor and the production of value in our contemporary hyper-capitalist world. Using traditions of both cinema and sculpture, Rottenberg seeks out locations around the world where specific systems of production and commerce are in place. Through the editing process, and with footage from sets built in her studio, she connects seemingly disparate places and things to create elaborate and subversive visual narratives. By weaving fact and fiction together, Rottenberg highlights the inherent beauty and absurdity of our contemporary existence. Each of the artist’s multidimensional film projects are situated within a theatrical installation, made up of objects from the lush and bizarre parallel worlds in her videos.

Her immersive video installation, ‘Cosmic Generator (Loaded #2)’ (2017 – 2018), takes over two of the gallery spaces in Somerset as part of our group exhibition ‘GRUPPENAUSSTELLUNG’, on view through Monday 1 January 2024. Other works on view by Rottenberg are the kinetic sculptures, ‘Finger’ (2019) and ‘Ponytail (Raven)’ (2022) as well as a collection of works on paper.

During her residency, Rottenberg will be working on a new sculpture series for the exhibition that experiments with 3D printing and uses reclaimed waste plastic. In a recent interview with Gabrielle Schwarz for Apollo Magazine, Rottenberg discusses her inspiration for these new works:

‘We’re experimenting with 3D printing large- and small-scale sculptures from reclaimed waste plastic. The idea is to take something toxic and make it into something regenerative, which can nurture the gardens. And the gardens in Somerset are so amazing, they’re an artwork in their own right.’Mika Rottenberg

Rottenberg is an artist concerned with the environmental effects of her own productions. She is closely involved in Artists Commit, an artist-led group pushing for climate action in the US art sector. Earlier this year, she also collaborated with the organisation to publish a ‘Climate Impact Report’ detailing the carbon footprint of her solo show at our gallery in Downtown Los Angeles. In Somerset, our Education Lab, which coincides with our ‘GRUPPENAUSSTELLUNG’ exhibition, presents a program around environmental sustainability, inspired by Rottenberg and Pipilotti Rist. This interactive learning space provides a dynamic platform for knowledge sharing and collaboration around environmental and sustainable practices within the art world. As part of her residency, Rottenberg will interact and engage with the local community and participate within the wider learning program in Somerset.

Rottenberg was the recipient of the 2019 Kurt Schwitters Prize, which recognizes artists who have made a significant contribution to the field of contemporary art. In 2018, she was the winner of the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s James Dicke Contemporary Artist Prize, which recognizes an artist younger than 50 who has produced a significant body of work and consistently demonstrates exceptional creativity.

Her recent solo exhibitions include: ‘Mika Rottenberg. Spaghetti Blockchain’, Cotemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco CA (2023); ‘Cosmic Generator’, Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah GA (2023); ‘Mika Rottenberg’, Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles CA (2023), ‘Mika Rottenberg’, Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec (2022); ‘Mika Rottenberg. Bowls Balls Souls Holes’, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark (2021); ‘Mika Rottenberg’, Hauser & Wirth Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland (2021); ‘Mika Rottenberg: Spaghetti Blockchain’, Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto, Canada (2020);  ‘SNEEZE’, Tai Kwun - Centre for Heritage and Arts, Hong Kong, China (2020); ‘Mika Rottenberg. Kurt-Schwitters-Preis 2019’, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany (2020).