New York

Rachel Libeskind, What Happens in the Kitchen?, 2020, video, color, sound, 7 minutes 54 seconds.

Rachel Libeskind, What Happens in the Kitchen?, 2020, video, color, sound, 7 minutes 54 seconds.

Rachel Libeskind

Signs and Symbols

In her classic 1975 video Semiotics of the Kitchen, Martha Rosler inhabits a character she has described as “an anti-Julia Child” who “replaces the domesticated ‘meaning’ of tools with a lexicon of rage and frustration.” Reciting a deadpan domestic abecedarium—apron, bowl, chopper, dish—as she stares into the camera and proffers the inventoried items to her audience from behind a countertop, Rosler reappropriates the setting and accoutrements of food preparation to stage a personal rebellion against the drudgery of that odiously limiting category of gendered labor, “women’s work.” Rachel Libeskind’s similarly modest video What Happens in the Kitchen?, 2020—online for roughly two weeks in late June as part of programming presented by the Lower East Side gallery signs and symbols—undoubtedly shares certain critical impulses with its forty-five-year-old antecedent. But unlike Rosler’s brand

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