new-york

Mika Rottenberg

Nicole Klagsbrun

The blood-chilling term efficiency expert was coined in the early twentieth century by mechanical engineer and management consultant Frederick Taylor, who famously timed factory employees to encourage them to work faster. Mika Rottenberg’s videos of women performing mindless, repetitive tasks might do Taylor proud if they didn’t also reveal his system’s utter lack of humanity. In Rottenberg’s latest video, Dough, 2005–2006, a six-minute loop, the eponymous product is manufactured via an obscure and complicated process that requires the use of a fluorescent lamp and an inhaler, as well as an endless supply of vacuum packs, gerbera daisies, and human tears.

As in an earlier Rottenberg work called Mary’s Cherries, 2003, the factory is divided into seven chambers with holes leading from one to the next. The next-to-uppermost room is occupied by a colossally fat woman wearing a drab brown uniform

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