Opening Reception May 11, 4-7
In her new series, the female characters of Marianna Rothen’s imaginary universe are shown for the first time in the company of men. Until now, men have remained decidedly absent in Rothen’s images, but it seems as if in the current debate over gender politics, women’s rights and the Me Too movement, it is inalienable not to include men in the (greater) picture. While for a century a male dominated Hollywood has often depicted women as objects and commodities, in this work the tables have finally turned. No man in Mail Order is real, they are all mannequins. As the title suggests, they are like sex dolls, objects, mail order partners. The female protagonist, played by Rothen herself, creates her perfect man and makes him dress, pose and perform his manhood in the ways she demands. By flipping this power dynamic Rothen shows how deeply ingrained the expected roles between women and men and their archetypes are.
Marianna Rothen is a Canadian artist who lives and works between New York City and Upstate New York. Solo exhibitions of her work have been organized at Steven Kasher Gallery in New York, The Little Black Gallery, London, Galerie Stephan Witschi in Zurich, Ingrid Deuss gallery in Antwerp and Kaune Contemporary in Cologne. Her work has been the subject of three monographs; Snow and Rose & other tales, Shadows in Paradise and Mail Order all published by b.frank books. Marianna’s work has been featured in The New Yorker, The Cut, Collector Daily, The Paris Review, Vogue, Photoworks, Elephant, Interview, AnOther, Upstate Diary, Dveight, Huffington Post and Art Daily.