Erika Rothenberg

Zolla/Lieberman Gallery

Erika Rothenberg’s mordant wit is shameless and almost totally lacking in subtlety. She knows the strategies of modern advertising and mass communal signage by rote, and she employs them in her relentless attack. Refusing to let her mask slip for so much as a moment, Rothenberg offers her audience no respite. Like the fetid procedures of American social discourse she parodies, her approach knows no hesitation or remorse. Rothenberg sees America as a land of importunity—the home of the quick and the deadpan—and she knows that her tactics must be adequate to a human comedy of such tragic breadth as to very nearly surpass understanding.

At the core of Rothenberg’s autopsies lies her recognition that systems of interpersonal communication implicitly telescope personal experience. Any verbalization, any sign, any effort at discourse privileges homogeneity and implies a surrender of privacy and

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