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Semiotics of the Kitchen

  • Date: 
    1975
  • Edition/serial number: 
    Unlimited
  • Media description: 
    Video (Betacam SP and DVD)
  • Duration: 
    6 min. 09 sec.
  • Colour: 
    Black and white
  • Sound: 
    Sound
  • Category: 
    Video, Performance
  • Entry date: 
    2005
  • Register number: 
    AD04020
  • Image credit: 
    Courtesy of Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York (http://www.eai.org)
Semiotics of the Kitchen adopts the form of a parodic cooking demonstration in which, Rosler states, "An anti-Julia Child replaces the domesticated 'meaning' of tools with a lexicon of rage and frustration." In this performance-based work, a static camera is focused on a woman in a kitchen. On a counter before her are a variety of utensils, each of which she picks up, names and proceeds to demonstrate, but with gestures that depart from the normal uses of the tool. In an ironic grammatology of sound and gesture, the woman and her implements enter and transgress the familiar system of everyday kitchen meanings — the securely understood signs of domestic industry and food production erupt into anger and violence. In this alphabet of kitchen implements, states Rosler, "when the woman speaks, she names her own oppression."

(Text from EAI Online Catalogue: http://www.eai.org. Reproduced with permission by Electronic Arts Intermix.)

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