Art History, Artists, Collage

Bringing the war home

House Beautiful: Bringing the war home is a series of photo-collages (1967-72) by American artist Martha Rosler. Martha Rosler works with installations, videos, photo-text and performance. Also, she writes about art and culture. Her work is centred on the everyday life and public sphere often with an eye to women’s experience.

House beautiful: Bringing the war home,  it’s a series that juxtaposes idyllic catalogue scenes with photos from the Vietnam war. Both images (war and domestic interior) were collected from issues of Life Magazine, she combined the two worlds to imply connections between the industries of war and te industries of home, making literal the description of the conflict as the “living-room war“.

Balloons (Photo Credit: MoMA)

The images of this series continues with the legacy of political photomontage in the same style of Hannah Höch’s Cut with the Dada Kitchen Knife through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch in Germany (1919), or pop art like Richard Hamilton’s Just what is it that makes today’s homes so different, so appealing? Rosler combine the two worlds to imply connections between the industries of war and the industries of the home.

Beauty Rest (Photo Credit: MoMA)

She revisited this series in 2004 and 2008 by creating new images, this time based on the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. As she perceived that her original series had become aestheticized and a bit quaint, she designed this new series to address contemporary issues that are parallel to the Vietnam War.