whitney biennial “cheese”


I went to the Whitney this weekend to check out the artists participating in the Biennial. There were so many artists, and so much to take in; I felt rather overwhelmed and couldn’t really spend enough time with any one piece. However, I was very impressed and intrigued by the films/ installation of Mika Rottenberg titled “Cheese”. I won’t even attempt to explain the work, so here is the blurb from the site…

“Rottenberg’s newest film, Cheese (2007), conflates farm-girl imagery with the fairy tale “Rapunzel” into a story loosely based on the Sutherland Sisters, renowned for their extremely long hair. Floating through a pastoral yet mazelike setting of raw wooden debris cobbled together into a benign shantytown, six longhaired women in flowing white nightgowns “milk” their locks and the goats they live with to generate cheese. Shots of animals crowded in pens and the sisters’ bunk bed– cluttered room visually compare the women to their ruminant allies. As nurturing caretakers, these women represent maternal aspects of Mother Nature. Here Rottenberg investigates feminine magic, the ability to “grow things out of the body” as she says, as the ultimate, wondrous physical mystery.”

Obviously, I have this thing with hair (note the name of this blog), long hair as a symbol of femininity, as an emotional attachment. I think there are all kinds of ethnic associations with hair, feelings of empowerment caused by growing your hair, coloring it, cutting it, braiding it. This art work has inspired me to further reflect on my own attachment and curiosity about hair, and I hope to share with you some of my findings. I also need to eventually explain “mermaidhair” so check back soon…


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