Aura Rosenberg ’71

My work draws on photography, video, painting, sculpture, installation, and performance to probe sexuality, gender, and childhood. I have shown work at Kunstmuseum Stuttgart; Museum Modern Kunst, Salzburg, Austria; Muzeum Susch, Switzerland; MoMA PS1, New York, Kunstmuseum Ravensburg, Germany; Casa Sao Roque, Porto Portugal; Galeria Studio, Warsaw, Poland; Lehnbachhaus, Munich, Germany among others. My publications include three photography volumes: Headshots (Stop Over Press), Berlin Childhood (Steidl Verlag/D.A.A.D.), and Who Am I? What Am I? Where Am I? (Hatje Cantz Verlag). I live and work in New York City and Berlin. I am represented by Martos Gallery, New York; Meliksetian Briggs Gallery, Los Angeles and Efremidis Gallery, Berlin. I teach at Pratt Institute and The School of Visual Arts. In the late-1980s, I produced a series of sculptures and photographs titled "The Dialectical Porn Rock", based on images culled from pornographic magazines. My interest in the corporeal was also evinced by a group of body imprint paintings, which emphasized my literal presence in the work. Becoming a mother in the 90s, I began two long-term projects based on children. The first, "Berlin Childhood", is drawn from Walter Benjamin’s chronicle of his bourgeois upbringing in Berlin around 1900. The second is titled "Who Am I? What Am I? Where Am I?" and is a series of photo collaborations between artists and children. Recently, I returned to questions around the body and eroticism in a group of lenticular prints based on classical marble statues, which I exhibited in 2018 at Martos Gallery in a show titled "Statues Also Fall in Love". This fall, I will be doing a solo exhibition of photos from "Who Am I? What Am I? Where Am I?" in Martos Gallery’s booth at the FIAC art fair in Paris and my work will also be shown in the Texas Biennial. In November, at Efremidis Gallery, I will be doing a solo exhibition based on the Charging Bull and Fearless Girl statues in Manhattan’s financial district.

Photograph, Mike Kelley/Carmen Rosenberg MillerMike Kelley/Carmen Rosenberg Miller

This is a photo from the series "Who Am I? What Am I? Where Am I?, which developed from the photo portraits I used to shoot as a benefit at my daughter’s elementary school. Often, the children liked me to photograph them with their faces painted. The portraits were an opportunity for them to project a fantasy of themselves to others. The face painting added literally another layer. While painting a child's face can be beautiful, who in the end takes it seriously? This apparent contradiction attracted me. I began inviting artists to make paintings on children's faces, which I then photographed. Of course, not everyone wanted to paint, and so the series overall became diverse. The focus, however, remains on an interaction between artist and child. The identities they call into question involve not only that of the child but also that of the artist-as-stylist. This photograph was a collaboration with the artist Mike Kelley and my daughter Carmen. Mike wanted to paint her as a Goth girl. I worked with over sixty artists for this project including Louise Lawler, Kiki Smith, Matt Mullican, John Baldessari, Marilyn Minter, Josiah McElheny, John Miller, Moyra Davey, Gerald Jackson, Lawrence Weiner, Sue Williams and Ei Arakawa.

Two Puzzle Pictures

Zwei Rätselbilder (Two Puzzle Pictures) is one of the texts from Walter Benjamin's chronicle "Berlin Childhood around 1900". He began this collection of childhood remembrances in 1932 when going into exile from Germany. In this text he contrasts two early encounters with the idea of death and his inability, even as an adult, to comprehend them. The little girl is Lais, Walter Benjamin's great granddaughter. She is also narrating Benjamin's text.