The East Is Red, The West Is Bending

Martha Rosler

1977 | 00:20:00 | United States | English | Color | Mono | 4:3 | Video

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: Gender, Performance, Video History

Rosler uses the format of a cooking demonstration (as in Semiotics of the Kitchen) to address cultural transaction--the meeting of Eastern and Western cultures. Reading directly from a West Bend Electric Wok instruction booklet, Rosler wryly comments upon the Oriental mystique conjured by the West Bend manufacturers, a mystique evoked and then "improved" upon through Western technology--i.e. non-stick surfaces and electric power. Drawing attention to the choice of the color red on the wok, Rosler, in typical deadpan fashion, raises the bogeyman of Communist China, holding up a pamphlet of Chairman Mao Tse-Tung and saying, "Remember this guy?"

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