- Martha Rosler Brooklyn, New York, USA, 1943
- Series:Know Your Servant
- Date:1976 / Vintage print
- Technique:Chromogenic print on paper mounted on paperboard
- Descriptive technique:Polyptych consisting of seven elements: photographs, diagrams and texts
- Dimensions:Overall: 95 x 163 cm
- Edition/serial number:1/3
- Category: Photography
- Entry date:2010
- Register number:DE01994
The work of Martha Rosler, in the field of conceptual art, is about direct involvement in social and political themes, often through analysis of everyday relationships and situations, and frequently focusing on gender issues. She uses a variety of media: video, performance, installations, photography and text. In statements, Rosler has spoken of a need to create critical art in order to fight back against the erosion of “democratic rights under pressure of economic warfare.”
The work Know Your Servant Series #1: North American Waitress, Coffee Shop Variety, combines images and text to present a critical view of the protocols surrounding the job of coffee shop waitress in the USA. Alongside a series of photographs and diagrams, Rosler presents panels of text listing what is required of the ‘ideal’ waitress (in terms of both behaviour and appearance) taken from professional manuals used in hotel and catering colleges and on training courses. Rosler adds her own comments such as “Her hairdo is not more stylish than yours” or “She is not more glamorous than you”. The irony of the whole lies in the juxtaposition of these pre-existent elements with an actual photograph of a waitress in 1976. The premise of the piece is that the conditions imposed upon an aspiring waitress are yet another form of alienation and objectification of women, serving as a reminder that in any commercial relationship with the customer, her status must in each and every case be on a lower rung. Rosler produces a strong critique here of business logic and its role in the erosion of human dignity.
Concha Calvo Salanova
Present Tense : Omer Fast, Antoni Muntadas, Stéphanie N'Duhirahe, Marcel Odenbach, Martha Rosler : [del 29 de octubre de 2008 al 25 de enero de 2009, Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, Sala San Antonio Abad, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria / exposición por comisariada por Berta Sichel ; textos, Jane Connarty... et al.].Las Palmas de Gran Canaria : Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, 
Está en mi cabeza, detrás de los ojos : [instrucciones de género introyectadas = barne-proiektatutako genero jarraibideak = introjected gender instructions] / [comisariada por] Haizea Barcenilla, Saioa Olmo.[Vitoria-Gasteiz] : Ayuntamiento de Vitoria-Gasteiz : Montehermoso, [2010?]
Rosler, Martha ( 1942-)Ostfildern-Ruit : Hatje Cantz Verlag ; Hannover : Sprengel Museum Hannover, cop. 2005.
Martha Rosler : in the place of the public = an der stelle der offentlichkeit. Observations of a frecuent flyer = Beobachtungen einer vielfliegerin.Rosler, Martha ( 1942-)Ostfildern-Ruit : Cantz, 1998.
Martha Rosler : positions in the life world / edited by Catherine de Zegher ; [copy edited by Martha Rosler].Rosler, Martha ( 1942-)Birmingham : Ikon Gallery ; Vienna : Generali Foundation ; Cambridge (Massachusetts) : MIT Press,