On Tuesday, I attended the opening of Mika Rottenberg’s first solo show at Andrea Rosen Gallery, Bowl Balls Souls Holes, which coincides with her first major museum exhibition in the U.S. at the Rose Art Museum in Boston of the same name. The exhibition includes the newest work by the video installation artist.
Rottenberg uses video to playfully bring together eccentric characters, activities and places that usually do not co-exist to explore the concept of cause and effect. She creates these re-imagined narratives that are both absurd and weirdly fantastic. This is true of the title work of the show, Bowl Balls Souls Holes, in which Rottenberg transforms a bingo hall into a bizarre hideaway in which she applies her strange logic to create links between this mundane location and its effect on the universe as a whole.
It is hard to put into words the dreamlike worlds Rottenberg manages to shoot the viewer to through her magical portals. She creates work that is complex and thought provoking while at the same time being extremely accessible. It is through her use of familiar objects and places and relatable characters that she is able to accomplish this and has the viewer leave questioning reality. Her work tinkers in the realm between fantasy and reality in an extraordinarily entertaining way.