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Mika Rottenberg, Sneeze, 2012, HD video, color, sound, 3 minutes 2 seconds.

Mika Rottenberg

Magasin III

Mika Rottenberg, Sneeze, 2012, HD video, color, sound, 3 minutes 2 seconds.

Mika Rottenberg is a serial absurdist, as amply demonstrated by her recent exhibition Sneeze to Squeeze,” which encompasses more than a decade of work. Take her most recent video, Sneeze, 2012. It’s a send-up, and simplicity itself: Three men in business suits, each with a farcically misshapen, pink-tinted nose, sneeze irrepressibly. These are men who have lost control, not only of their bodily reflexes but of the very substances their bodies expel. Each sneezing fit produces another unpredictable discharge: “Achoo!” and a bunny spews out; “Achoo!” and a steak emerges; “Achoo!” and a lightbulb somehow appears. The gag’s absurdist comedy has deep roots in literature and theater; Alice’s famous sneeze in Wonderland comes to mind, as does the oft-quoted rhyme from the Duchess, another Lewis Carroll character: “Speak roughly to your little boy / And beat him when he sneezes / He only

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